United vs City: Are the Manchester clubs set for failure this season?

It’s no secret both Manchester Untied and Manchester City are not living up to the high expectations set by the fans, pundits and club in general so far this season. Both sides are currently outside the top four more than halfway through the domestic campaign, which is no where near where they expect to be, so are the two set for failure this season? Lewis Addley explores… 

Ten games into the Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City things were looking like a foregone conclusion for the season ahead. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss looked to have bought his style of play to England with success, winning ten games on the bounce, but fast-forward to January and City are struggling in 5th place.

Things are not much different domestically for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United either. The Red Devils remain outside the top four and look a long way behind league-leading Chelsea.

Both clubs have reached the knockout stage in Europe, City in the Champions League and United in the Europa League, which surely will be the focus of their seasons respectively come the return of the competitions in a few weeks. United are on the brink of reaching the final of the League Cup, but that alone will not be enough to reduce the pressure on Mourinho, with more always expected of the Manchester giants.

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So are both of these clubs set for failure?

In a word, no. There are plenty of games for the league table to continue to change. But the competition for the top four is so intense that it is difficult, with current form in mind, to think both sides will make the cut. United had just began to pick up form but their consecutive draws suggest they’re still one step away from troubling the sides above them on a consistent basis.

City on the other hand seem to have no league form whatsoever, they’re fast becoming a side who look beatable from the off and Pep is going to have to change something. They’ve gone from having a powerful, tight backline to a nervy outfit who look like they will concede with every shot, something Claudio Bravo is picking up an unwanted affiliation for, having conceded the last six efforts on goal he has faced.

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As previously mentioned United are on track to reach the League Cup final but given the current nature of expectancy, that trophy alone is not enough for a title-chasing side. Both Manchester clubs are still challenging in the FA Cup, a tournament they are going to need to reach the latter stages in at least, such as the regard winning it is held in.

European action offers contrasting situations, City face PSG in the Champions League, while United drew Saint-Étienne in the Europa League. City’s performance last year was their best effort to date in the competition and given the strength of the sides they can pull in the latter rounds if they are to progress, winning it would be some feat, although not impossible given the quality of players available to Guardiola. 

United’s progression in the Europa League wouldn’t be something Mourinho is bothered by, if you’re to believe his stance on the competition, however winning it would guarantee them a place in the Champions League next season regardless of their league finish. With that in mind United have to take it seriously, no doubt they will.

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There is no doubt both Manchester clubs have the ability to win some silverware this season between them, but domestically it isn’t looking overly promising. With track-record in mind, many have been surprised with the struggles the two have endured in their first season. In the modern game transitional periods are becoming less and less acceptable, especially considering the amount of money that’s being spent on transfers. Perhaps not the first season of the Mourinho and Guardiola era their fans would have had high hopes for?

Is it too early for the word failure to be thrown around or have Mourinho and Guardiola not lived up to expectation so far? 

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, December 3 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 11/10 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 12/5

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime in a mouthwatering fixture in the race for the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola’s side trail league leaders Chelsea by just one point ahead of this tie and just three points separate the top four. This is a crunch game for City, who need to make sure they win and put an end to Chelsea’s winning run.

City come into the game having come from behind to beat Burnley in a scrappy game that showed their resilience to win, something they’ll need to show once again here.

While many are saying it is too early for results to impact the race for the title, a loss for City here could be disastrous for the squad mentally. Guardiola has experience coaching against Chelsea and will know his side are up against a team that never know when they’re beat.

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Chelsea are the inform team in the Premier League. They have won seven in row, conceding just once and scoring 19.

Antonio Conte is pleased with his side, especially the spirit they showed to come from behind to beat Spurs last weekend. Many have questioned whether or not going behind would upset the balance for Chelsea in their unbeaten run, but they proved they are capable of turning a game in their favour.

Chelsea have struggled at the Etihad, they have won just once in their last eight visits in all competitions and, like practically every Premier League club, have constantly been on the receiving end of a Sergio Aguero masterclass.

This a game Chelsea have to avoid defeat in. It will put them in a really good position for their upcoming December fixtures, while no league game is easy, they have some favourable games over the Christmas period and could capitalise on that to give themselves some cushioning at the top.

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Team News

Vincent Kompany remains out for Manchester City, while there are concerns about Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling, who are both doubts.

Chelsea are expected to remain unchanged for the eighth game in a row. John Terry will be out, while Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel are not yet ready to be considered for selection. Diego Costa is one yellow card away from a one-game ban, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he picks that up here given the intensity of this tie.

Key Points

Manchester City’s form: D/W/D/W/W

Chelsea’s form: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Chelsea have conceded just once in their seven-game winning streak.

Key Player: Thibaut Courtois – This is easily the biggest challenge of the season for the Chelsea backline. They have been performing very well but face a completely different opponent with the way City will press them on the ball. Courtois will have to be at his best to ensure his side can come away with a win.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea – Manchester City are going to give Chelsea a different style of game that no other side has done this season. Their pressing and ball retention will make this a difficult afternoon for Conte’s men. Historically, it is not a happy hunting ground for Chelsea and Aguero & co will make it another to forget for The Blues.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs West Ham United

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. West Ham United

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, August 28 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Man City 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – West Ham 9/1

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome West Ham United to the Etihad on Sunday afternoon in what they will be hoping is a relatively straightforward tie.

City are top of the league on goals scored and we can expect them to be a fierce competitor for the Premier League title this season.

They come into this one off the back of their 4-1 thumping of Stoke last weekend, an impressive performance that had the real look of a Pep Guardiola side.

City will be keen to continue racking up the goals here in order to remain the early pace setters in the league this season. Home form is something Guardiola sides are renowned for, he will be expecting a tough tie but nothing less than three points from this game.

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West Ham United bounced back from their opening day defeat to pick up a late win over Bournemouth in their first league game at the London Stadium last time out.

Slaven Bilic’s squad is stretched by injuries and fitness concerns to his key players even this early on in the season, he will be hoping to make a couple of extra signings before the window closes.

The Hammers have struggled away against Manchester City but did win in this fixture last season, they will be looking to frustrate their opponents in this tie but will be expecting to see little of the ball.

West Ham will be hoping to bounce back from being knocked out of Europe on Thursday with a positive result here, but the fans will be bracing themselves for a disappointing week as they take on arguably the strongest squad in the league.

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Team News

Manchester City could be without up to five through injury as Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gündogan, Leroy Sané are all out, while Bacary Sagna and Kelechi Iheanacho are both doubts. New signing Claudio Bravo isn’t expected to make his debut this week so we can expect Willy Caballero to return to the starting XI following what appeared to be Joe Hart’s farewell in the Champions League in midweek.

West Ham have eight injury concerns heading into this tie as Aaron Cresswell, Diafra Sakho, André Ayew and Andy Carroll are all expected to be out, while Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli and Håvard Nordtveit are all doubts.

Key Points

Manchester City’s form: W/W

West Ham United’s form: L/W

Key Stat: Manchester City have lost only one of their last ten Premier League games against West Ham at home, winning eight and drawing one.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The City goal machine has scored 37 goals in 47 Premier League games against London teams. He has an eye for goal against West Ham with six in eight league appearances.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 3-1 West Ham United – Manchester City should be taking all three points in the majority of their home games this season if we are to believe that Guardiola is the real deal and this game is no exception. West Ham United have a squad that is being stretched through injuries and fitness issues but will still be able to cause City problems here, just not enough to win the game.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Sunderland

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, August 13 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Man City 1/4 – Draw 19/4 – Sunderland 11/1

Match Preview

Manchester City kick off their 2016/17 Premier League campaign and new era under manager Pep Guardiola at home against Sunderland on Saturday evening.

It’s certainly an exciting time to be a City fan and they will be expecting their side to get off to a winning start here. Fans will be demanding much more than last seasons finish of 4th, they scraped into a Champions League playoff place and given Guardiola’s winning mentality, that would be a complete failure this time around.

Guardiola has made some big money signings throughout the summer transfer window and he will be expecting the new additions, along with the quality in the current squad, to make a strong challenge to win the Premier League.

Manchester City have a strong home record against Sunderland. They have won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the sides in all competitions. And if previous results are anything to go by we could be in for a goal-fest here, as City have scored at least three goals against Sunderland in seven of their last eight home meetings.

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Sunderland will be looking to avoid another relegation battle this season and the club have replaced Sam Allardyce with David Moyes. It is a good appointment for the club, as despite his struggles at Manchester United, Moyes has a wealth of Premier League experience.

The Black Cats stayed up by two points at the end of last season, thanks to the guidance of Allardyce, and it is now time for them to try and push to the next level. A mid-table finish will be an achievable target if Sunderland can iron out their defensive issues that nearly cost them last season.

Moyes has just started to make some summer signings, while some long-term servants have departed the club. There is quality in the Sunderland side, but they have to build a team around a core of players to prove tougher opposition this season.

Sunderland couldn’t have had it much more difficult in their opening game. The buzz around City will be a huge task for them to deal with, but if they can take anything away from their opening weekend fixture confidence will be sky-high. This will be an interesting tie to watch.

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Team News

Manchester City have added the likes of Ilkay Gundogan (£21m), Nolito (£13.8m), Leroy Sane (£37m) and most recently John Stones (£47.5m) to their squad. Guardiola already has some selection headaches as Gundogan, Sane and captain Vincent Kompany are unlikely to feature until September through injuries. Stones has a huge task ahead of him to step up to the mark and fill in for Kompany in the heart of the City defence. We can expect Guardiola to setup with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sergio Aguero leading the line. Nolito could make his debut out on the left flank, while David Silva is likley to start in the number ten role. Kevin De Bruyne will more than likely start on the right. So far City have only seen two players depart, goalkeeper Richard Wright and Martin Demichelis are their completed outs.

Sunderland have released Wes Brown, Steve Harper and Danny Graham ahead of this season. Their completed ins are former United players Donald Love and Paddy McNair. David Moyes must utilise Jermaine Defoe and build a team to feed their frontman. He netted 15 goals in 33 appearances last season and if they can supply him he will be able to cause opposition defenders headaches like he has done his whole career. There are some concerns about Defoe’s fitness as well as Sebastian Larsson, Jan Kirchhoff and Billy Jones, all four players will be racing to get fit for their opener.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five: N/A

Sunderland’s last five: N/A

Key Stat: Guardiola saw his Bayern side lose just twice last season, once at home and once away, and they won 15 of their 17 home games. If that is anything to go by we could expect City to become a formidable force at home this season.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The obvious choice but Aguero is so integral to City. If Guardiola can get his squad playing his style, Aguero will score for fun. The Argentine goal-machine is so deadly and he will be relishing the battle to win the golden boot this season and fire City to silverware.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 3-0 Sunderland – City to start off with a bang. This is going to be a very difficult task for Sunderland. While many people have tipped Guardiola to find the Premier League very difficult to adapt to, he will have his side ready to go here. Sunderland will be pleased to get one of the toughest places to visit out of the way so early on.

Will Manchester City hang on to secure a top four finish in the Premier League?

Manchester City are enduring a rough patch of Premier League form with just one win from their last six domestic outings and with some key games coming up, are they at risk of finishing outside of the top four? Lewis Addley explores…

The Premier League title race looks all but out of Manchester City‘s reach now as they trail leaders Leicester City by a huge 15 points. Recent form has seen City pick up just four points in their last six games and they are struggling to hold onto fourth place, let alone challenge at the summit.

After another poor performance at the weekend in their 1-0 loss against rivals Manchester United the gap has narrowed even more. They are now in the uncomfortable position of having to look over their shoulders at the chasing pack of Champions League hunters – fuelling talk among fans and pundits alike that they could slip out of the top four.

Current Premier League top six standings

Current Premier League standings – top six 

As we can see City are just two points ahead of West Ham United and Manchester United as we enter the international break. Over the previous six games City have dropped from second place to fourth and the gap has closed between them and fifth place by six points.

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When looking at Manchester City’s remaining league fixtures, a fair argument could be made that they have to deal with one of the trickiest run-ins out of any club.

Manchester City's remaining fixtures and previous league results

Manchester City’s remaining Premier League fixtures and corresponding results

By using the theory of mirroring their previous results this season against the sides they face in the run-in, Manchester City would finish this season on 69 points, picking up six more wins and adding 18 points to their current tally of 51.

While we aren’t suggesting those results will mirror exactly, it does give some good grounding to provide a potential final league points tally for City.

Wedged within these fixtures are City’s two season-defining ties against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, so the pressure will be on Manuel Pellegrini to ensure his squad priority is right when resting players for those games.

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So lets have a look at how this potential tally of 69 points compares to the number of points required to finish in the top four over the last five Premier League campaigns.

Points required to finish in the top four in the last five seasons

Points required to finish in the top four – last five seasons

As we can see, over the last three seasons 69 points would not have been enough to finish in the top four, but it would have secured Champions League football in the 2010/11 and 2011/2012 seasons.

City fans will be concerned about their league position as they will not want to be without Champions League football next season, especially with the imminent arrival of new boss Pep Guardiola. Playing in Europe’s top competition can certainly influence potential transfers and with a squad overhaul expected to take place, Guardiola will want to be able to lure some of the world’s top talents to the Etihad Stadium.

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It’s now time for the current City squad to step up and prove any doubters wrong by winning as many of their remaining fixtures as possible to ensure they finish in the top four. They do also have the potential pathway into the Champions League by winning the competition this term as they head towards that huge quarterfinal tie against PSG.

City have finished in the top three of the Premier League in each of the past five seasons and lifted the title at the end of the 2011/12 and 2013/14 campaigns.

Do you think Manchester City will finish in the top four this season?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Leicester City

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, February 6 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 ET) 

Match Odds: Man City 4/7 – Draw 16/5 – Leicester City 9/2

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Premier League leaders Leicester City to the Etihad Stadium in the first game of the weekend.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been in a great run of form and are unbeaten in their last seven in the league. This is a huge tie which they desperately need to take all three points from to ensure they are in the strongest position possible to regain the title.

Manchester City have not lost in their last nine outings against Leicester in all competitions and haven’t conceded a goal in the last three meetings between the sides.

The Manchester giants come into this one off the back of their hard earned 1-0 away win over Sunderland, a great example of their resilience and proof they are more than capable of grinding out results.

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Leicester City are continuing to fly high and are three points clear of Manchester City at the top of the league coming into this one.

They won convincingly last time out against Liverpool with Jamie Vardy scoring that unforgettable screamer and have scored five goals in their last two games.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are unbeaten in 14 of their last 15 away Premier League games and are more than capable of making this a really tough tie for Manchester City.

If Leicester can avoid defeat here they will give themselves a great chance of winning the league but some are still questioning their chances. Leicester on paper have a favourable run in to the end of the season after their next two games and we will really get a feel for how things will end up over the coming weeks.

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Team News

Manchester City’s injury list is a concern for Pellegrini but shows the importance of squad depth. Six first team players look set to miss out as Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Kevin DeBruyne, Fabian Delph, Jesus Navas and captain Vincent Kompany are all sidelined.

Leicester City have just the three players who look unlikely to feature here, Daniel Amartey is a doubt while Matthew James and Jeffrey Schlupp are both out.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five: W/D/W/D/W

Leicester City’s last five: D/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: Solid – Leicester have kept five clean sheets in their last six Premier League games.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Argentine goal-machine has bagged six in his last five Premier League outings and now has 13 for the season. If he continues to find the net at this ratio he could well be the difference for City bringing the title back to the Etihad.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 2-1 Leicester City – Pellegrini’s side to edge this one in a tie which could have a serious impact in the race for the title. It should be a thriller and one not to miss.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, August 16 – 16.00 BST (11.00 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – Chelsea 12/5

Match Preview

Manchester City vs Chelsea. It’s a crucial fixture as Sunday afternoon will see Manuel Pellegrini’s men host defending champions Chelsea in a match which pits two of the heavy favourites to win the Premier League against each other in the first major clash of the 2015-16 campaign.

The Manchester side come into this game off the back of a convincing and dominant display away at the Hawthorns against West Brom on Monday, winning 3-0. Not only was it just a convincing victory but Yaya Toure returned to form netting two goals and looking back to his best, with David Silva also instrumental.

Man City have scored eight goals in their last two home games in the Premier League, which shows how clinical they are in front of their home crowd and that will be a concern for Chelsea.

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City have also won their last seven Premier league games, with four of these victories coming at home.

Chelsea have only suffered one defeat in their last 19 Premier League games, which just shows you how resilient they are.

They have taken four points out of a possible 6 in their last two visits to the Etihad and will travel north looking to remain tight and avoid defeat.

Chelsea tend to adopt a different approach when it comes to the bigger games. Their negative approach tends to be scrutinised, however it has proved effective in recent years.

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A City win here would see them move five points clear of Chelsea at the top of the league after just two weeks, and that would be a huge advantage that Jose Mourinho will be desperate to avoid giving his title rivals.

Team News

Manchester City are without Fabian Delph and Fernando through injury. Yaya Toure is a minor doubt but is expected to start. Gael Clichy is also a doubt and Sergio Aguero has a lack of match fitness so will most likely will feature from the bench again.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar has a knock and is a doubt for Sunday’s trip. Thibaut Courtois is suspended after his red card against Swansea so Asmir Begovic will start in goal. Diego Costa will lead the attack with Willian and Eden Hazard set to continue out wide.

Key Points

Manchester City’s form: W

Chelsea’s form: D

Key Stat: Manchester City have failed to beat Chelsea in Premier League since February 2013.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – The current PFA Player of the Year is one of the best players in the world at the moment and if he can continue to produce the level of performances that he did last season it’s easy to see him causing Man City a massive problem come Sunday. His lightning quick pace and agility to match can hurt any side and don’t be surprised to see the young Belgian create several opportunities and perhaps even get on the scoresheet.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea – We can see this game being won in a very tight affair where Chelsea should show their defensive resilience and catch Man City on the counter, We can’t see either team keeping the other out and so both teams scoring is likely. Chelsea have the advantage of being champions and ill be favourites for a win.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Southampton

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Southampton

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 4/7 – Draw 7/2 – Southampton 4/1

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Southampton to Etihad Stadium for the last game of the Premier League season with the hosts having already secured a second-place finish.

Southampton have exceeded all expectations and are guaranteed to finish one place higher than last season. If results go their way, they could even finish as high as fifth.

City’s recent form has been impressive, winning their last five, scoring sixteen goals along the way since their demoralising defeat to rivals Manchester United back in April.

Manuel Pellegrini‘s future is under immense pressure after failing to retain the Premier League crown or win a cup competition this season, leaving City trophy-less for the second time in three years.

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Although his future is in doubt, Pellegrini still expects to be the manager come next season as they aim to take the title back from Chelsea.

A summer clearout is expected at Manchester City with Yaya Toure said to be playing his last game for the club along with possible departures such as Stevan Jovetic, James Milner and of course Frank Lampard before he leaves for MLS club New York City FC.

Before the season began, Southampton were tipped for relegation, a low points total and looked like a club that would be in disarray. But they certainly aren’t. Ronald Koeman has come in and done a very impressive job, leading them to their highest position in Premier League history.

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The Saints arrive in Manchester off the back of a terrific 6-1 victory at home to Aston Villa and will be hoping to try and secure European football next season.

The reverse fixture saw Manchester City win 3-0 at St Mary’s with goals from Yaya Toure, Frank Lampard and Gael Clichy the difference.

Team News

Manchester City will be missing Samir Nasri who has a groin injury.

Southampton will be without Dusan Tadic (groin). Goalkeeper Fraser Forster is a long-term absentee, so Kelvin Davies is expected to continue between the sticks. Morgan Schneiderlin could return to the side for what would potentially be his last appearance for the club as he’d constantly being linked with a move away. Jay Rodriguez could make his first appearance in fifteen months after his ACL tear in the same fixture last season.

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Key Points

Manchester City’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Southampton’s last five: L/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: The last time Manchester City did the double over Southampton was in the 1992/93 inaugural Premier League season.

Key Player: Yaya Toure – Although he is certain to leave Manchester City this summer, he is so important to his side. He can flip the game in a heartbeat. The Ivorian hit a brace at Swansea last week and could add to his twelve goals this season.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 2-0 Southampton – City will expect to finish strongly at home with a victory. Southampton have had a brilliant season but will fall just short of their opponents in this one.

STATS: Can Juventus star replace Yaya Toure at Manchester City?

Juventus midfield superstar, Paul Pogba, is looking like the main transfer story of the summer so far and is top of many top clubs’ shopping lists, with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and PSG among those searching for his signature.

Former club Manchester United have also been linked but Pogba could join the blue side of Manchester since reports emerged that Yaya Toure is likely to be heading out of the club this summer.

Pogba, who has won his third Serie A title in a row this season, is one of few that are similar to Toure in stature and playing style and City are keen to acquire the Frenchman.

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Should Pogba make the move, it is reported that his salary would be approximately £250,000-a-week after tax, making him the highest paid midfielder in the world.

So how does the promising youngster weigh up against Toure? We compare their league stats from this term:

Yaya Toure Stat Paul Pogba
31 Age 22
27 Appearances 23
8 Goals 8
1 Assists 2
89% Pass Completion % 83
21 Tackles Won 45
30 Key Passes 32
31 Chances Created 34

Judging from the stats above, there is a clear indication that Pogba can replicate the performances from Yaya Toure this year, and with potential to get much better, Pogba should be a worthy investment.

It is worth noting that this has not been Yaya Toure’s greatest season at Manchester City but the Juventus star’s statistics speak volumes about how influential he is.

Do you think Paul Pogba will replace Yaya Toure at Manchester City? Would he be the perfect signing for City?

Bayern Munich playmaker could follow Guardiola to City this summer – report

Manchester City have been linked with a move for Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara, but any deal would only go through if City manage to land Pep Guardiola as their manager, according to German source TZ.

Manchester City are looking to refresh an ageing squad this summer with Yaya Toure one of several players looking close to the exit door and so reinforcements will be needed.

Former Barca star Thiago has finally returned to the playing squad at Bayern after over a year out and has made two league starts for the Bavarians since returning.

The Spaniard’s current deal lasts until 2017 and so any City move would likely cost more than the £18 million fee that saw him move to Germany in 2013.

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The deal however, hangs on Pep Guardiola joining the Citizens if Manuel Pellegrini departs at the end of the current campaign.

Guardiola is favourite to take the reigns at City after Bild reported that he met with City sporting director Txiki Begiristain two weeks ago to discuss his current contract.

Begiristain is said to have met with Guardiola in a hotel to negotiate a deal to bring him to the Etihad Stadium, and that could see Thiago follow as he did when the former Barca coach joined Bayern in 2013.

Would Thiago be a good signing for Manchester City? Would Pep Guardiola be the ideal appointment?