With the advent of Sunday’s eagerly awaited Community Shield between City and Liverpool, the new season is officially almost upon us and, as such, there’s no shortage of City-flavoured media talking p

As well as opinion about the Wembley showdown between last season’s champions and runners-up, there’s plenty of transfer talk with the English window slamming shut next Thursday.

But we kick-off with an intriguing article which spotlights the key contributions of three of Pep Guardiola’s most consistent performers…


Manchester Evening News Unsung City trio the ‘best three players in Europe’

Stuart Brennan: "Manchester City have the three most effective players in European football over the last six months – but they are not who you would expect!

"The Blues are laced with world-class attacking players like Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero, but none of that stellar trio make the top 15 in a CIES Football Observatory study.

"The Switzerland-based football research group uses OptaPro, the same kind of data which football clubs use themselves to analyse player performance.

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"They look at each player’s individual performances on a match-by-match basis and then place it in a team context – and only analyse players in the five top European leagues.

"And the latest analysis has three unsung City heroes sitting at the top of the table.

"In reverse order they are: Oleks Zinchenko: the man who made a hugely successful transition from attacking midfielder to left back last season and made a big impact last season.

"Initially targeted as a weak spot, he made himself a strength of a City team which gathered in four trophies and rated 90.1.

"Next was Aymeric Laporte. No great surprise to City fans that the French defender rates so highly, as he was many people’s choice as player of the season.

"While City dazzled at one end, Laporte with a 90.5 rating was largely responsible for shoring things up at the other.

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"Leading the way, however, was Ilkay Gundogan who earned a 91.9 average based on 13 games since February.

"Fernandinho’s knee injury meant he was pressed into action in the holding role at the climax of the season – and was outstanding.

"His intelligent reading of the game and sharp technical skills made him the fulcrum of the team, and he can claim as big a role in City’s feat of winning four trophies as anyone."

Daily Mail Community Shield will have an edge to it

Martin Keown: "When I played I saw the Community Shield as a good opportunity to get that first win. Arsenal against United was always one of the English game’s great rivalries, and that is what we have seen emerge between Liverpool and Manchester City now.

"The Community Shield gives you the opportunity to get one over on a rival. People say this match is not important but it is.

READ: Guardiola's Community Shield squad update

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"These two teams were head and shoulders above the rest in the Premier League last season.

"They will view tomorrow as a chance to strike an early blow. They won’t see it as just another outing and chance to stretch their legs. These players are professionals and, believe me, they will want to win. They will want to give their title rival an early taste of what they are about. 

"I think there will be an edge to this encounter."

Sport360.com Chance to land an early blow

"Whom Jurgen Klopp picks to partner Virgil Van Dijk in central defence will give an idea of who gets the spot against Norwich next Friday. Joel Matip has been preferred over Joe Gomez in pre-season and looks set to continue.

"Pep Guardiola has more of a balancing act as although all players apart from Fernandinho are available, many are well short in their preparations due to late returns because of international commitments.

WATCH: Behind-the-scenes: David Silva models City 125 kit

"Oleksandr Zinchenko looks like getting the nod at left-back ahead of Angelino with Benjamin Mendy still injured. New signing and long-term Fernandinho replacement Rodri could make his first start."

Transfer gossip

Calciomercato.com Cancelo ‘agrees terms with City’

"Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo has now agreed personal terms with Manchester City.

"Cancelo was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City over the past few weeks and talks resumed yesterday once again.

"Calciomercato.com understand that Cancelo is satisfied with what City are offering and the Citizens have agreed personal terms with the Portuguese right-back, who have convinced the player about the project they have in place.

"But City and Juve continue to negotiate for the deal.

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"Juve want 40 million euros plus cash. There is optimism among all parties that the deal will be done in the next few days."

Goal.com Ghana wonderkid dreams of move to City

Richard Gyasi: "Sixteen-year-old sensation Philip Yeboah Ankrah, who scored 25 goals in 25 games for Hellas Verona’s U-17 side, is one of Ghana's brightest young talents in world football.

"Yebo, as he is known to his friends, is set to make his Serie A debut this season, but while he may be at an early stage of his development, he's setting his sights on a move to one of Europe's footballing giants in the future.

“In Italy, my preferred destination will be Juventus, but my greatest dream is to play for Manchester City,” he told Goal. “I love their style of football and I aspire to be like Sergio Aguero.

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“In Serie A, I watch Cristiano Ronaldo a lot, but I love Aguero because he is the player I look up to. He is very strong and aggressive on the field.” 

Daily Mirror Dybala urged to snub United for City or Liverpool

Mark Jones: “Paulo Dybala has been told to resist joining Manchester United and instead hold out for a switch to Liverpool or Manchester City if he is keen on moving to the Premier League.

“The Argentinean, 25, has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford from Juventus in a potential swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku, who is looking for a way out of the Red Devils.

“And Andrea Dossena, the former Liverpool defender who played alongside Dybala at Palermo, says United wouldn't be the right move for him.

"United are not ready to win big in Europe so he may as well stay at Juve, hence his vacillations," said the 37-year-old who left Liverpool for Napoli in 2010 and later made a loan move to Palermo, where he played with Dybala.

"If the team in question had been Manchester City or Liverpool, in my opinion he would have had no doubts.”