Praise of the highest order from a Barcelona legend for Riyad Mahrez, a boost for West Ham and Mark Lawrenson’s prediction for Wednesday’s match…

Welcome to Tuesday’s Media Watch...

On we go...


Goal: Mahrez on track for Ballon d’Or says Barca legend

“Former Cameroon captain Samuel Eto’o says Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez “is one of the great players” in the world.

“Ex-Liberia captain George Weah is the only African to have been crowned Ballon d’Or winner, claiming the prestigious award in 1995 while playing for AC Milan.

“With Mahrez having won the 2016 African Footballer of the Year award, Eto’o feels the Algerian can go a notch higher.

‘He is one of the great players in world football today,’ Eto’o told Al Araby as per Le Buteur.

‘We are very likely to have it [Ballon d’Or] in our continent. I really hope that he will not only dream of being the best African player, but also the Ballon d’Or because he has all the qualities to be there.’

“Following a lack of consistent playing time at the start of this season, Mahrez has gone on to earn regular minutes for City, featuring in 21 of their 25 Premier League games and scoring seven goals.”


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FOX IN THE BOX : Riyad scores against Leicester
FOX IN THE BOX : Riyad scores against Leicester

Team news (opposition)

Evening Standard: Anderson fillip for Hammers?

“West Ham’s first winter break has not been ideal. It started with a wasted trip to Manchester and has been curtailed by their return to The Etihad on Wednesday for the rescheduled game.

“There is, perhaps, one silver lining however. Felipe Anderson was back in training ahead of the break and had an outside chance of being involved in the original fixture.

“A week off followed by another spell of training - David Moyes had his squad back on Saturday following their allotted time off - and everyone in east London is hopeful the Brazilian fit and firing once more.

“Whether Anderson has enough to secure shocks against Manchester City and Liverpool is a big ask, but he certainly has more than enough to get the Hammers back up the table when at his best.”


BBC Sport: Lawro sticking with City win

“Having this game delayed by 10 days might help Manchester City a bit - Aymeric Laporte will have a few more training sessions under his belt and could be fit enough to come into contention.

“If City harbour any serious ambitions of winning the Champions League then they have to kick on and start performing the way we know they can before they face Real Madrid at the end of the month.

“West Ham will also have benefited from some time training together, especially at the back.

“The one thing Hammers boss David Moyes will have been working on is defensively, because they were woeful at the back last time out in their draw with Brighton.

“Even so, I don’t think West Ham will have enough about them to take even a point away from City. I went with 3-0 last time, and I am going to stick with that scoreline this time too.”

Lawro’s prediction: 3-0

More gossip and rumours tomorrow..

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