Mens Team

Michael Brown: Unpredictable Riyad Mahrez is unplayable

TRICKSTER: Mahrez gets us on the front foot early on.
Michael Brown says Riyad Mahrez's unpredictability means he is unplayable and a nightmare to defend against.

The Algerian winger has impressed for Manchester City in recent weeks, providing a classy pass in the build-up to Bernardo Silva’s second goal against Birmingham City and was a constant threat as Pep Guardiola’s side edged past Brighton and Hove Albion.


Blessed with an array of tricks, Mahrez is one of the Premier League’s trickiest customers and Brown says he poses opposition defenders countless problems.

“When he’s smiling and enjoying his football, it’s brilliant,” said the former City midfielder on the latest edition of the We’re Not Really Here matchday show.

“In such tight areas he is great, but if there is space there for him, he can cut left or right, he likes to come inside. Once he’s in the box, you can’t go near him with that late chop that he’s got.

“I wouldn’t want to play against him! He’s got such ability and at times he’s unplayable.”

WATCH: City 1-0: Brighton: Short highlights

Fellow Wembley 1999 hero Paul Dickov agrees.

Whilst Mahrez is famed for his dribbling and ability in one versus one situations, our former striker says City’s No.26 offers a multitude of threats and has been particularly impressed with his eye for a pass this season.

Dickov believes it is something which has added another dimension to the 29-year-old’s game, making him even more of a menace in the final third.

“Over the last 18 months he’s mixed it up a bit,” he explained.

“We know he likes to play on the right hand side. I wouldn’t say he was predictable because he has fantastic talent, but he was coming inside on his left a lot.

"Now he’s making defenders think a lot more because he’s checking and going on his right. He’s releasing the ball early sometimes.

“The pass to Kevin De Bruyne against Birmingham for Bernardo Silva’s second goal was world class.

“He’s got everything. When he’s playing with a smile on his face and he’s got the space to express himself he’s a top player.”

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