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Media Watch

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Media Watch: 'City can be the new Invincibles'

Saturday’s media focus is firmly fixed on City’s huge Premier League clash at Chelsea later today with one leading pundit tipping the Blues to go on and emulate Arsenal’s Invincibles if we avoid defeat.

There’s also a call from Pep Guardiola for his side to stage an encore of last season’s superb display at Stamford Bridge – and a warning from skipper Vincent Kompany about the threat of Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard.

But we start with Robbie Savage’s latest column in the Daily Mirror. The outspoken TV pundit and former Wales international is adamant that City are on the threshold of re-writing history once more.

This time by replicating Arsenal’s incredible achievement of 20013/4 when they became the first – and to date only English side – to go unbeaten in the league all season.

Savage writes: “Let’s ask the question many are thinking: Has Pep Guardiola built the new Invincibles?

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“Put it this way, if they don’t come unstuck at Chelsea today, I believe Manchester City will go through the whole Premier League season unbeaten, just as Arsenal did under Arsene Wenger in 2003-4.

“I’ve always said Wenger built two of the finest sides we’ve ever seen – the Invincibles and the Double-winning team of 2002, the best I ever played against. Fergie’s Treble winners at Manchester United were a bit special, too, and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side of 2004-5 were virtually unbeatable.

“But this one assembled by Pep at City is the best of the lot. They are unstoppable, ridiculously easy on the eye, relentless. I honesty think they are the greatest team of the Premier League era.

“If they come away from Stamford Bridge still unbeaten, I simply can’t see another fixture where they might lose.

“This time last year, I said we might as well hand the title to City because no-one was going to catch them. I was proved right.”

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Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph’s James Ducker reports on how Pep Guardiola wants his players to replicate the manner of last season’s 1-0 win at Chelsea.

Ducker reports: “Guardiola believes it set the tone for City’s march to the title with an unprecedented 100 points and marked a level they have since continued to reach with regularity.

“Last season, winning there was more than three points,” said the City manager, who will be without De Bruyne as well as striker Sergio Aguero on Saturday night.

“It showed we could do it. It was an important step for last season, the first important game away against the last champion. In that moment, it was important to say, ‘We can go anywhere and deliver a good performance – winning and with a good performance’.

“Since we have continued in that vein and the target is to try to do it again. In these sort of games, of course we want to win, but I’m more focused on our behaviour. How we are as a team on those sort of stages. That’s what I want to see from my team.”

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Over to the Manchester Evening News who carry a story from Vincent Kompany warning City about the threat of his compatriot Eden Hazard.

The diminutive playmaker has been back to his world-beating best for the Londoners this season and Kompany told Stuart Brennan City will need to pay him extra special attention today.

Brennan scribes: “Now City are revving up for the trip to Chelsea on Saturday night – when they come up against Kompany’s Belgium teammate Eden Hazard.

“The brilliant wide man was anonymous as City chalked up a league double over Chelsea last season, amid discontent over Antonio Conte’s conservative style.

“But Kompany has warned that Hazard will pose a much greater threat this time, as he is flourishing under Maurizio Sarri.

“I think he was due an offensive manager,” said Kompany. “I can’t remember him having that a lot in his career.

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“Eventually a manager like this is what he needed, no matter where he was, to get the best out of him. The future is bright for him.”

Finally, for his part Hazard is reported in the Daily Star making a tongue-in-cheek suggestion about what he could add to the Blues squad and how much he admires City

The Star report: “Ahead of the City clash, the Belgian has cheekily suggested that Pep Guardiola could do with him in the squad.

“He said: “I think City find more solutions in their play than we do.

“Hazard has been a key member of Chelsea’s squad over the past six years, but he hinted he is becoming tired of being the difference-maker this season.

He added: “Chelsea have plenty of possession, but we often have to rely on individual actions to score goals.

“City are all about team play. You can see a lot of movement from them that creates spaces.

“They get their crosses in and they create more chances, score more goals and have more answers.”

 

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