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Media Watch

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Gossip: Mahrez stat and double transfer link

FINE FORM: Riyad Mahrez

FINE FORM: Riyad Mahrez

This Friday’s Media Watch is jam-packed – as you would expect just two days before the eagerly-anticipated Manchester derby.

It’s not all Blues vs Red chat though, there’s a smattering of transfer gossip featuring two starlets from home and abroad, plus find out which City aces shone for England Women’s friendly against Austria on Thursday night…

First to Sunday’s mega match at the Etihad Stadium and a tactical focus on Riyad Mahrez on Sky Sports from Adam Bate.

He writes: “After a quiet start following his arrival from Leicester in the summer, Riyad Mahrez could be doing the unthinkable and making Manchester City even better.

“It was mid-September and Riyad Mahrez had yet to score for Manchester City following his £60m summer move when Pep Guardiola made a prediction. ‘Riyad is going to come back to the same form that we saw when he was with Leicester,’ he declared. Later that week, Mahrez got off the mark with two goals against Cardiff and has not looked back since.

“He was on target again in the 6-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday evening to take his total for the season to six. Despite the high-profile penalty miss against Liverpool, Mahrez has outscored every one of his team-mates over the past two months - even Sergio Aguero - and his all-round performances have been mightily impressive."

Bate added: “So far this season, he is recovering possession of the ball for City an average of seven times per 90 minutes, which is more than any other regular outfield player at the club.”

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Now to a couple of spots of transfer gossip, first featuring young forward Fernando Ovelar.

Francisco Acedo reports: "Incredibly, Ovelar scored in Paraguay’s Superclasico last weekend — even though he is just 14 years old.

"Cerro Porteno striker Ovelar, who is still two months short of his 15th birthday, netted the opening goal against their arch-rivals Olimpia, having made his senior debut a week earlier.

"Ovelar is the youngest ever player to feature in Paraguay’s top division and it is understood Premier League champions City have been watching his progress, and had a scout at the Superclasico.

"Paraguay are expected to call him up soon for their Under-18s side."

Meanwhile, City have been linked with a young Crystal Palace right back, in Football.London.

England Women were in action on Thursday evening with Abi McManus, Georgia Stanway and Melissa Lawley all starting against Austria in the friendly win - with Nikita Parris coming off the bench.

The BBC’s report read: “Substitute Nikita Parris headed against the post shortly after coming on and then set up Manchester City team-mate Stanway, who shot into the roof of the net for the second.”

We’ll round off with another derby view from in-form midfielder Bernardo Silva, who has identified a dual reason for the match’s importance.

“If we win we are not only winning three points but we are taking three points from them as well” he told Sky Sports.

"It's a derby, a special game. Everyone wants to play. There are a lot of emotions especially from the fans.

"But at home, with our people, we just hope we can keep this form, keep playing well, pressing high and scoring some goals."

Here, here! That’s your lot for today, stay tuned to all the Man City channels for all the latest build up and team news, with Pep Guardiola’s press conference just after lunch-time.

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