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Media Watch: 'City can become new Invincibles'

Saturday’s media round-up features high praise from former England striker Peter Crouch who claims that City can go on to emulate Arsenal’s famed Invincibles and remain unbeaten in the league all season.

There is also another strong snippet of transfer gossip from across the English Channel and reassuring words from Pep Guardiola following confirmation of Kevin De Bruyne’s knee injury.

But we kick-off with that bold declaration from Crouch.

Guardiola’s table-topping side resume Premier League action at home to Southampton at the Etihad tomorrow in a rich vein of form.

The Blues have not conceded a goal in the league since September 1 but the manager believes there is even more to come from his side.

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And with 10 games of the season already behind us, writing in the Daily Mail, Crouch believes he has seen enough compelling evidence to suggest City can go on and equal the achievement of Arsene Wenger’s famed 2003/4 Arsenal team who, to date, are the only English side to remain unbeaten throughout a Premier League campaign.

Writes Crouch: “The more I watch Manchester City, the more I believe they will emulate Arsenal’s Invincibles.

“It shouldn’t happen in the Premier League. Not now. Not with the resources that clubs have and the strengths of the squads they possess.

“The game here is ferocious and competitive and that should stop any team going through the season unbeaten.

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"Arsenal, 15 years ago, were the best team I ever played against.

“I was at Aston Villa that season and remember the night we played them at Villa Park. Thierry Henry scored twice and they played a brand of football I had never seen.

“City, though, are scaling similar heights. You may say it is a big call to make after 10 matches of the campaign but the way they beat Tottenham should serve as a warning to everybody else — if you thought they were good last year, I’m convinced they have improved.

“It’s frightening to think they can get better. City have played 27 times in the Premier League so far in 2018 and won 21 of those fixtures, taking 67 points from a possible 81. The consistency is remarkable and it comes as a surprise now if anyone contains them.

“This is where they are different to the Arsenal squad of 2003-04. I am not trying to say one is better than the other, I’m merely pointing out that Arsenal had 12 draws that year and I don’t see City having another 10 assignments where they are going to drop points. They don’t have a weakness.”

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Meanwhile over in the Daily Telegraph there is more transfer talk with James Ducker suggesting the Blues are keeping tabs on promising young French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.

James Ducker reports: “City are considering a £40 million move for Ndombele, the highly-rated young Lyon and France midfielder, in the January transfer window.

“Pep Guardiola wants a midfielder to provide competition for Fernandinho in the short term and to be the Brazilian’s long-term replacement. Ndombele has been identified as a possible solution.

“City tried and failed to sign Jorginho in the summer, the Italy midfielder opting to join Chelsea instead, and Guardiola’s concern about the impact an injury to Fernandinho could have on their season was reinforced on Friday after he lost Kevin De Bruyne to another knee ligament injury.

“City have watched Ndombele closely, and the 21-year-old impressed against the Premier League champions in Lyon’s shock 2-1 Champions League win at the Etihad in September.

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“Paris St-Germain are also interested, but it is thought Jean-Michel Aulas would prefer to sell him abroad. Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have also been linked with the player, who has been likened to former Lyon and Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien.”

Finally, the Daily Mirror’s David McDonnell reports on how, despite the blow of Kevin De Bruyne’s injury lay-off, Pep Guardiola believes the Belgian midfield marvel’s return in just over a month will be ideally timed.

Scribes McDonnell: “Guardiola admitted City are stronger with De Bruyne, but said the fact they have been able to remain top this season, despite being without him for such a prolonged period, proved they can cope with his latest enforced absence.

“Hopefully, after the international break, there’ll be two or three more games and after that he’ll back back.

“By then, hopefully we’ll be in the knockout of the Champions League when he comes back and up there in the Premier League.

“That will help us in the last part, that he will be fresh in mind and body and help us reach our targets.”

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