Fighting talk from Fernandinho (what else would you expect?), Neymar’s alleged interest in a City switch and Burnley fans’ preference in the title race are among the back page headlines this Friday morning.
And we’ll cut straight to the quick with Ferna’s promise that the Blues are going to fight tooth and nail to retain the Premier League title in the games that remain.
Reuters carry the story: “Victory in the final three games of the season will ensure a fourth league crown in eight years and Fernandinho said City’s display at United showed how determined they were to succeed.
‘We showed the desire in competing for every ball like animals. I think this is the spirit of a team that wants to be champions,’ Fernandinho told reporters.
‘If you look back to January, they could have been 10 points clear after our game. We didn’t want that. We reduced the gap to four points and now we’re one point up,” he said.
‘That’s the way the Premier League is going to be decided and I hope we can do our job and win those three games and be champions again.
‘"Burnley are always difficult. They have a specific way to play and it is not easy to go there. They drew with Chelsea last Monday.
‘We have to recover as soon as possible and try to be fit and be ready. It is going to be a very important, very difficult game for us.’
Meanwhile, Lancashire Live report that some Burnley fans are taking exception to the social media pleas from Liverpool fans regarding Sunday’s game with City.
And here’s why: “Burnley entertain Man City at Turf Moor with Liverpool hoping for a favour from the Clarets in the Premier League title race.
“The Reds are a point adrift of Pep Guardiola's side but could return to the summit if they beat Huddersfield Town on Friday night.
“But Jurgen Klopp's men need City to slip up in one of their final three games to have a chance of winning the league and Reds supporters will be cheering on the Clarets come Sunday afternoon.
“But there are some Burnley fans who would prefer City to win the title given the way some Liverpool supporters reacted to a challenge by Ben Mee on Joe Gomez during the clash between the sides in December.
“Liverpool won 3-1 at Turf Moor but Gomez was forced off with a leg fracture after a fair Mee challenge. The Burnley man won the ball and no free kick was given by Mee came in for stick from Reds fans on social media while Klopp criticised some of the Clarets' challenges.
“Clarets chief Sean Dyche disagreed with the view saying he thought there were some 'excellent' challenges made by his side and Burnley fans have not forgotten the reaction of the Reds fans in the aftermath of the game.
“And it means some would prefer City to end the season as champions.”
Next up, Tuttosport (via Sports Mole) claim Brazilian superstar Neymar is eyeing a switch to the Etihad…
The report reads: “Neymar is warming to the idea of playing at Manchester City, while Real Madrid have set out their contract offer for Eden Hazard, according to Thursday’s European papers.
“Neymar has given his approval to a potential switch to Manchester City, according to reports.
“The Premier League side have reportedly entered the race to take the Brazil forward from PSG, with Real Madrid and Manchester United also interested.
“Tuttosport believe that Neymar is open to the idea of working under Pep Guardiola, and the feeling is mutual – the City boss wants him at the Etihad Stadium.”
Over at Four Four Two, City legend Pablo Zabaleta says he expects Pep Guardiola to create a dynasty at the Club in the coming years.
The West Ham defender said: ‘He's very good, he's one of the best managers for sure. I spent one season with him, the first season for Pep in England.
‘We did some amazing stuff, but also we made a few mistakes that cost us winning the Premier League or the Champions League," said Zabaleta, speaking to The Offside Rule Exclusives.
‘For a club like Manchester City finishing the season without trophies is something that, as a player, hurts. When you're there, you play to win trophies.
‘Last season, the way City won the league, they have been playing some of the best football we have seen in the last few years in the Premier League.
‘I'm sure that he will stay at Manchester City, he will keep improving the team and keep winning trophies.’
And finally, the Daily Express believe Raheem Sterling is well on his way to becoming a “national treasure”.
Sterling collected another award last night at BT Sports Industry 2019 and the Express believe the City forward is setting examples that are way above and beyond…
They write: “Raheem Sterling may have missed out on the PFA player of the season award but there is no doubt he is football’s man of the season.
“Sterling will be at the funeral of Damary Dawkins today, a funeral he paid for out of his own pocket to ensure the Crystal Palace youth player, who died of leukaemia last month, received a fitting send-off.
“The Manchester City winger honoured the 13-year-old by lifting his England jersey to reveal a picture of the pair of them together after scoring against the Czech Republic last month.
“What with his ongoing work in the fight against racism in football and wider society, Sterling is, at 24, fast becoming a natural treasure.”
And that’s all for today…