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Media Watch

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Media Watch: Giggs on PL title race

MEDIA WATCH: FA Cup and Premier League title talk

MEDIA WATCH: FA Cup and Premier League title talk

Title talk and FA Cup previews dominate this morning's back pages.

City are preparing to face Newport County in the fifth round later today, so we'll take a look at what the media are saying about that one. 

But let's start with this from Ryan Giggs on the title race. He believes this season’s battle for the Premier League will be a tight one, but says City have the upperhand over Liverpool at present.

Writing in his Sky Sports column, the former Manchester United winger said:

“This is where the experienced players and the manager are really important. You've got to forget about all the noise from the media and the fans putting pressure on and saying: "If you lose a game the title race is over." There are going to be twists and turns all the way to the end of the season I think.

“If you're beaten you've got to bounce back, and if you're winning games you can't take anything for granted. It's hard, especially with social media now, but you've got to block out the noise.

“I think City's tails are up at the moment, but it can soon change. Injury-wise, City are a bit better off right now and injuries are the one thing that can kill you in a title race. You can have momentum, but if you're picking up knocks and players are missing eventually it will catch up with you.

“If you're a team that more or less has a full squad gong out every week then you're in a much better place.”

READ: Guardiola | Mahrez's time is coming

READ: Newport v City | Match Preview

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Moving on the more pressing matters and Newport boss Michael Flynn says his side need to use the Rodney Parade pitch to their advantage.

He told Mail Online: “The pitch will suit us more than them.

“I'm glad it will because it gives us more of a chance than if we had to go to the Etihad. But let's not blame the pitch or look for excuses. We've got to play out there as well. 

“These players have a knack of rising to the occasion and they are a fantastic group.”

Liam Corless, writing in the Manchester Evening News, says City’s strength in depth means rotation is an option for Guardiola on Saturday, particularly with the Blues set to face Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday.

“Pep Guardiola hasn't rotated his squad as heavily as he might've done in previous cup games this season but with a Champions League trip to Germany to come on Wednesday night, you have to suspect the Catalan will make plenty of changes against Newport,” he writes.

“Unfortunately for Newport, Guardiola could rest every player that started the 6-0 drubbing of Chelsea and still be able to field a pretty impressive XI.

“If he were to do that, City's team would perhaps look a little like this: Muric; Danilo, Kompany, Otamendi, Delph; Sandler, Foden, Silva; Mahrez, Sane, Jesus.

“Guardiola has made a point of recruiting two top-class players for each position since arriving at City and it is testament to the way in which he has assembled this squad that he would be able to field a second-string team containing such quality.”

That’s all for today’s roundup of the back pages – but stay with us throughout the day as we bring you full coverage of our FA Cup fifth-round tie at Newport.

And don’t forget: you can follow the game with live text commentary via our Matchday Centre.

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