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Media Watch: Souness on PL title race

MEDIA WATCH: The press look ahead to our FA Cup game and have their say on the title race

MEDIA WATCH: The press look ahead to our FA Cup game and have their say on the title race

The FA Cup kicked into action this weekend – and Manchester City’s campaign gets under way later today when we host Rotherham at the Etihad Stadium.

And the media are full of pre-match chatter and predicted lineups.

The Manchester Evening News’ Simon Bajkowski expects a much-changed starting XI for City today – and believes youngster Eric Garcia should start.

“Having run themselves into the ground on Thursday, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho undoubtedly deserve a rest, and Ilkay Gundogan is fit to step in and provide authority in midfield," he writes

“Guardiola has used the League Cup to use John Stones in Fernandinho's role and to give young players game time, and Aro Muric and Eric Garcia impressed in the quarter-final win at Leicester last month. Adria Bernabe and Claudio Gomes have also been given debuts this season, while Felix Nmecha has been an unused substitute.”

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READ: Guardiola previews Rotherham tie

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In an interview with the Mail, Rotherham boss Paul Warne has discussed his side’s chances of beating City this afternoon.

“The gap is monumental, but the good thing is football’s not fair,” he said. “The best team doesn’t always win,’ said Warne, who was in Rotherham’s attack for a 1-1 draw with City in League One in March 2002 — the last time the teams met.

“With Oldham we played away in the FA Cup at Chasetown on a wet, muddy pitch and it was the live TV game. Our captain, Chris Swailes, reckoned their captain wanted to fight him when he went to hand in the team sheet.

“He returned and said, “They’re a bit revved up, he didn’t even have a shirt on”. We got a draw and battered them in the replay. That’s why fans love the FA Cup.

“And that’s the thing with City. The levels are so wide some of the things my players do they won’t be used to seeing. They might be confused if Jon Taylor or Ryan Williams run at them."

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And, finally, writing in the Times, Graeme Souness has singled out Bernardo Silva for praise for his performance against Liverpool on Thursday, and believes the race for the Premier League title is between two sides.

“I was especially impressed by how hard Bernardo Silva worked for Manchester City,” he writes. “I hadn’t realised he had that amount of energy. He needed to play like that, as did his teammates, because Liverpool had just as much of the ball. City and Liverpool will know that to win the league this is how they must continue playing until the end of the season, because there is no guarantee of there being any let-up from their principal rival.

“If you are deducing that I have just reduced this Premier League to a two-horse race then you are absolutely right. Tottenham are a fine team and certainly close enough to be considered as contenders but I can’t see them winning the title. Heung-Min Son will head off to the Asian Cup after Spurs’ game against Manchester United a week from now. Depending on how far South Korea progress, Son could miss games against Fulham, Watford and Newcastle.”

That’s all for today’s Media Watch. But stay with us throughout the day as we bring you full coverage of our FA Cup Third Round tie at home to Rotherham. 

And don’t forget, you can follow all the action via our Matchday Centre, which brings you minute-by-minute updates throughout the match.

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