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Media Watch: City face Ndombele battle?

TARGET?: Tanguy Ndombele

TARGET?: Tanguy Ndombele

‘The stars that have most glory have no rest.’

Certainly apt! A matter of days since City’s Carabao Cup Final triumph over Chelsea, the Blues are back in action with the visit of West Ham to the Etihad Stadium tonight.

Pep Guardiola’s men host the Hammers, looking to continue our excellent form and keep pace atop the table.

However, with several key names sidelined through injury, many are predicting a difficult test for the Champions.

READ: City v West Ham | Fernandinho, Laporte update

WATCH: In-Sane free-kick practice!

The Manchester Evening News’ Simon Bajkowski is one of many to have previewed the encounter, asserting there is ‘no room for error’ for the Blues.

“It would not be right to say that Manchester City are down to the bare bones for this Premier League clash but Pep Guardiola has significantly fewer options than he did 10 days ago,” he scribed.

“Unless there is a tactical selection surprise, at least Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero will know they cannot afford any rash moments because there are no tested replacements to come in for them.

“The removal of Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho severely weakens the spine of the team, so as much as the manager is trying to put the squeeze on Liverpool he will also be relieved to come through this game without any more of his plans being hampered.”

Meanwhile, Hammers captain Mark Noble has outlined his side’s gameplan, opining set-pieces could be the key to derailing the Champions.

He told the Club’s official website: “We do [work on set plays] for every game because we know Snoddy has got a fantastic delivery and, in all honesty, we haven’t scored as many [set piece goals] as we should.

PRESS CONFERENCE: The manager previews the game...

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“Not so much for this game in particular, but we do [work on set plays] for every game because we know Snoddy (Robert Snodgrass) has got a fantastic delivery and, in all honesty, we haven’t scored as many [set piece goals] as we should because we haven’t attacked the ball well enough.

“On Friday [at home to Fulham], Issa [Diop] has got his first Premier League goal. I thought he attacked the ball great and Mikey [Antonio] could have scored just after that.

“It looked like the set plays were causing them a lot of problems. We had five or six corners in the first half alone and we got two great goals.

“Then Marko [Arnautovic] and Manu [Lanzini] came on in the second half to change the game for us and get us another goal.

“All in all, we’ve had great form here in the last couple of months and Friday was another great win for us.

“I think our home form is getting more consistent. Especially against the really big teams, we’ve been really good at London Stadium.

“We drew with Liverpool and probably should have won that game, then went to Crystal Palace, which is a really difficult place to go, and got a really good point.

“We always said, if we got two points out of those, then a win on Friday, that would be a really good run of games for us.”

2018/19 Carabao Cup dressing room celebrations!

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Defender Angelo Ogbonna is relishing the chance to repel City’s attacking threat.

“We have to be focused on our game on Wednesday,” he stated, as quoted by WHUFC.com.

“We know they are a top team with a lot of quality.

“I scored against them before, but I think it is better if the strikers score. We shall see."

In other news, Republic of Ireland women’s team manager Colin Bell (yes, you read that right!) has hailed Megan Campbell’s resilience, as the left-back earned a recall for her country, having returned to action after 14 months sidelined with injury.

The City defender has been called up for the friendly double -header against Wales in Marbella, in preparation for the UEFA 2021 European Championships qualifying campaign.

As Extra Time report, Bell declared: “I'm delighted to see Megan Campbell return to the squad.

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“Megan is a crucial player for us and she's had to show real resilience to get through her injury and it's great to have her back involved for the two games."

Finally, there’s a snippet of transfer gossip as Sports Mole claim Juventus are set to rival City for the signature of Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, alongside Manchester United.

According to Daniel Lewis: “The 22-year-old is already believed to be high on the list of targets for Manchester United and Manchester City after starring for the French side this season.

“United are rumoured to have made contact with Lyon ahead of the summer transfer window as they are desperate to see off competition from bitter rivals City, just like they did when signing Fred last year.

“Italian outlet Rai Sport indicates that Ndombele is also a target for Juventus, though, with Massimiliano Allegri looking to further bolster his midfield ranks, despite already agreeing a deal to sign free agent Aaron Ramsey.

“However, it is claimed that Lyon are holding out for around £78m for the four-cap France international, which could prove prohibitive to any deal from Juve's perspective.”

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