The Premier League’s best player is already planning a move to MLS

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is at the peak of his powers and is the frontrunner for this season’s Premier League Player of the Season award. He has taken the league by storm but it turns out he has eyes for MLS and a move to America in the future.

The 26-year-old Belgian midfielder loves the culture of American life and is seemingly planning to make the move to Major League Soccer once his time with Manchester City comes to an end.

He has only recently signed a huge contract extension with City that ties him down until 2023, so don’t expect a move anytime soon. But his agent, Patrik De Koster, has revealed that De Bruyne has already spoken about a potential MLS move.

“I think Kevin will end his career in the USA rather than in Belgium,” De Koster said. “He has already been to America many times on holiday, and he loves the country and its culture. We have often spoken about him ending his career in the MLS.”

“He hasn’t yet had any offers from American clubs, because they know it is not worth bothering as he is at the peak of his career. Clubs in China will probably look longingly at him, but I can’t see him going over to play there.”

De Bruyne has been in incredible form for Man City this season, picking up 14 assists. The Citizens look certain to seal a first Premier League title since 2013/14, with De Bruyne heavily tipped to be named as the league’s Player of the Season.

If he were to move to MLS in the future, it’s likely that New York City FC would be frontrunners for his signature, given their ties with Manchester City. Although the league is growing at an alarming rate and so there will be no shortage of options for a player of De Bruyne’s talent, if and when the day arrives that he is looking for an MLS move.

Do you think Kevin De Bruyne will end his career in MLS? Which club do you think he’d join?

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NYCFC losing Jack Harrison to Man City in ÂŁ4m deal ahead of loan move to Middlesbrough

Jack Harrison’s time with New York City FC looks to be over. The talented young English winger landed in the United Kingdom on Tuesday morning ahead of a ÂŁ4 million dealthat will see him join NYCFC’s parent club, Manchester City.

But Harrison’s travels don’t stop there. He is expected to immediately be loaned out to Championship side Middlesbrough, who are now managed by Tony Pulis. Harrison will remain at the Riverside until the summer, when he is expected to join up with the Man City squad for preseason training.

The loss of Harrison will be a major blow to NYCFC. The 21-year-old winger has developed incredibly well under the guidance of Patrick Vieira and has learnt an enormous amount from teammates such as David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo.

But his impressive displays have come at a price for New York City FC fans. And that price is ÂŁ4 million. Harrison will no longer be preparing for what would have been his third MLS season. Instead, he will be thrust straight into the middle of Middlesbrough’s Championship campaign.

Boro are currently eighth in the second tier of English football but are in the playoff race, as they sit just four points outside the top six with 18 games to play. They will be hoping the addition of Harrison can help to inspire them to a Premier League return at the first time of asking following last season’s relegation.

Harrison was also a target of Stoke City, but the Potters weren’t prepared to match NYCFC’s valuation for the player this month. As a result the former Manchester United academy attacker will join Manchester City after seven years in the United States.

In total, Jack Harrison scored 14 goals in 59 MLS games for NYCFC, assisting a further 13 goals over the past two seasons. He was a key part of the New York City squad but they will have to now prepare for life without the exciting young Englishman.

Can anyone stop Manchester City this season?

With 11 wins and one draw from 12 Premier League games, Manchester City have been on another level this season. Pep Guardiola’s men are on the verge of something very special at the Etihad Stadium and they are now red hot favourites to win another Premier League title in the coming months. On current form, it would take a brave man to back against City – the Blues are eight points clear of closest rivals Manchester United.

City have been by far and away the strongest team in England’s top flight this season and it is difficult to look past Pep’s men in the race for the Premier League title. Have a peek here at odds via Sportsbet.io and you’ll notice that City are as short as 1.120 for the crown. Next up is United but Jose Mourinho’s side may struggle to make up the eight-point deficit if star midfielder Paul Pogba suffers another serious injury.

Defensively, City have silenced most of the critics so far. Guardiola’s side have conceded just seven goals this campaign, only United (6) have conceded fewer. Kyle Walker has enjoyed a solid start to life at the Etihad after commanding negative attention due to the transfer fee whilst Ederson Moraes has offered a consistent pair of hands between the posts. If City maintain their current defensive stability, they will cruise to the title.

Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva have been simply sublime in recent months, leading City to victories on a weekly basis. The latter has been doing it on the big stage since moving to the Premier League but it is De Bruyne who has attracted the bulk of the praise in the 2017/18 campaign. Widely tipped to win the PFA Player of the Year award, De Bruyne has been Pep’s standout performer for the most part of the season.

Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero have been the two main beneficiaries upfront, though you could argue that Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have also stepped it up this year. With 40 goals so far, City are on course to break various records and that is a testament to Pep’s style of attacking football. You’d be hard-pressed to find another offensive unit in world football that can match the Blues in terms of quality on a consistent basis.

You can’t even criticise the other clubs for their sub-par efforts; City really have been that good. According to Goal, City have made the best start to a season in Premier League history and United are already up against it in the top flight title race. If anyone can mastermind the Red Devils to a shock triumph, it is Mourinho but Guardiola is a wily old fox and City will take some stopping.

There’s even talk of City emulating Arsenal’s “Invincibles” side from the 2003-04 campaign, although it may be a little early for that comparison. We’re not even halfway through the Premier League season and backing Pep’s side to go unbeaten may be a little foolish. For now, winning the title is the primary objective and City look well placed to do just that. Pep’s side are, both on paper and in practice, the best team in English football.

Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Huge weekend in title race as City face Arsenal before Chelsea vs Man Utd

Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Another huge weekend of Premier League football is upon us. The international break is looming and so all 20 clubs will be hoping to head into the break in high spirits.

There are ten games to enjoy this weekend but there’s no doubt what the two standout fixtures are. Sunday will see a colossal double-header in the title race as Man City host Arsenal before Chelsea face Man Utd straight after. Spurs face Palace in the earlier game on Sunday, while Everton entertain Watford at the same time as the Chelsea vs Man Utd game.

Before all of Sunday’s action, there are six matches on Saturday. The weekend begins as Stoke welcome Leicester to the Bet365 Stadium at 12:30. Then on Saturday evening, Liverpool travel to West Ham looking to put pressure on the rest of the top six ahead of Sunday.

Read on for predictions to all ten of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 11 isn’t one you want to miss…

Stoke 2-2 Leicester

The lunchtime kick off has the makings of a tight one. Both sides are sitting in and around mid-table, separated by just one point. It’s all very tight in the middle of the pack and there are plenty of goals flying in. We expect there to be goals in this one. Stoke and Leicester’s fixtures have seen the ball hit the back of the net a combined 59 times. The Potters won 1-0 last time out, while Leicester extended their unbeaten run to five in all competitions with a comfortable 2-0 win over Everton. Score draw.

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Huddersfield 1-1 West Brom

Despite promising starts to the season, both Huddersfield and West Brom have tailed off in recent weeks. Huddersfield did shock everyone with that stunning win over Man Utd a couple of weeks ago, but that is their only win in eight in all competitions. They need to avoid defeat to West Brom here, and will fancy their chances at home. The Baggies aren’t playing well and haven’t kept a clean sheet in five. That’s uncharacteristic of a Tony Pulis side. This one might not be pretty.

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Newcastle 3-0 Bournemouth

The belief around St James Park is there for all to see. Players and fans alike are behind Rafa Benitez despite some inconsistent form of late. The Toon Army come into this one having narrowly lost 1-0 away at Burnley and now a response is needed. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth have been out of luck for the majority of the season so far and are the second lowest scorers in the league. They lost to Chelsea last weekend and a trip up North probably wouldn’t have been the next fixture they would have picked given the choice. Newcastle to take all three points.

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Southampton 1-1 Burnley

Burnley are flying high as they come into the weekend in seventh, level on points with Liverpool. Sean Dyche is further highlighting how good a manager he is and so there’s no wonder why he’s being linked with the vacant position at Everton. But for now, his focus will be on Burnley and getting as many points as possible every week. They will go to Southampton looking to hit them on the break and can expect to come away with a point. The Saints have been better in recent weeks but still lack a clinical edge. Both should score but the points look set to be shared.

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Swansea 1-1 Brighton

Swansea are sitting just above the relegation zone. On just eight points so far this season there is reason for concern. However, they probably considered themselves unlucky last weekend to lose away at Arsenal having held the lead. That made it three losses on the bounce in all competitions and they’ve won just one in their last seven in the league. By stark contrast, Brighton are on a three-game unbeaten run. They are sitting 12th in the league but a loss here would show them just how quickly things can change as it would put 17th placed Swansea just a point behind them. An important fixture that neither can afford to lose.

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West Ham 1-3 Liverpool

This is a big game for both sides. For West Ham, they need to show they are behind Slaven Bilic as he remains under intense pressure. For Liverpool, they need three points to make up ground on the sides above them ahead of Sunday’s games. West Ham carelessly threw away a win at Palace last week and had to settle for a point. They did beat Spurs in the League Cup before that, but in the Premier League, they have only one win in six. Liverpool have been inconsistent all season but looked good against Huddersfield last week. Expect them to prove too strong for a West Ham side that look to be in trouble.

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Spurs 3-0 Crystal Palace

What a rollercoaster week it has been for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. The low of losing narrowly to Man Utd last weekend in what wasn’t a pretty fixture, to their midweek heroics of taking apart Real Madrid. But, and it’s a big but – Spurs must stay grounded. The media frenzy which has surrounded them in such a positive light will very quickly turn with a poor result this weekend. If results go Tottenham’s way they could be within five points of top spot as the other four in the top five go head-to-head. There isn’t much to say about Crystal Palace’s league form this season. They remain bottom despite picking up a point last weekend. If Spurs play at their usual tempo, expect goals and a relatively easy win.

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Man City 4-1 Arsenal

At this stage of the season, it doesn’t look like anyone can stop Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team are full of confidence and are brushing aside anyone in their way. Arsenal arrive at the Etihad as the underdogs but they are unbeaten in five in all competitions. The problem for Wenger’s men is they are still vulnerable at the back. They conceded two at Everton and then fell behind to Swansea last time out. Man City are ruthless and will exploit any weaknesses. Unfortunately, this looks like it will only end one way. And that’s with a convincing home win.

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Chelsea 1-2 Man Utd

Chelsea’s title defence has been far from convincing. The Blues are unconvincing and only just overcame Bournemouth last weekend before being torn apart in their midweek clash in Rome. If reports are believed to be true, all is not well behind the scenes for Antonio Conte and his side. Key players are missing for both Chelsea and Man Utd but Jose Mourinho will be eager to get one up over his old employers. Don’t expect a repeat of this fixture from last year. United will be difficult to breakdown and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them take all three points back up to Manchester. Is the clock ticking for Conte?

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Everton 2-2 Watford

Everton are in trouble. They’ve sacked their manager. They’ve spent a lot of money on a squad that haven’t clicked. And they’ve already been knocked out of Europe. They have lost five in a row in all competitions and Watford will arrive confident they can add to the Toffees’ woes. The Hornets have lost back-to-back league games for the first time this season but have enough about them to respond with a better performance at Goodison Park. The challenge for Everton is trying to rally and avoid dropping more points as a result of that Europa League hangover.

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Premier League Predictions: Mourinho looking for Chelsea revenge, Arsenal looking to bounce back at Boro

The Premier League season is heading towards it’s finale but there is still plenty to play for. Manchester United welcome league leaders Chelsea to Old Trafford in the standout fixture of the weekend on Sunday, while the battle to avoid relegation intensifies.

Tottenham kick things off on Saturday lunchtime with the visit of Bournemouth, while Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all have tricky away trips to Southampton, West Brom and Middlesbrough respectively. Read on to find out all of our Gameweek 32 predictions…

Tottenham 3-0 Bournemouth

Spurs are still chasing Chelsea at the top of the league. Their 4-0 win over Watford last weekend furtherdemonstrated their intensity and classy finishing. Bournemouth cannot afford to let Tottenham in early otherwise they could be on the receiving end of another rout. The Cherries look like they’ll be safe from relegation this season, they’re seven points above the drop zone but know they’re in for a tricky afternoon here.

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Sunderland 0-1 West Ham

Sunderland really are in the last-chance saloon. They are in huge trouble at the bottom of the Premier League table and haven’t scored a goal in over two months. West Ham’s season has been inconsistent throughout but they got a much-needed win against Swansea last weekend and should be able to follow that up with another narrow win against a team that looks destined for the drop.

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Stoke City 2-2 Hull City

Stoke’s season has become a little stale. They face relegation threatened Hull this weekend who have hit some form as they continue their fight against the drop. Mark Hughes will be expecting his side to win here and edge closer to that 40-point mark. Hull will be hoping results go their way to ensure they don’t drop back into the bottom three.

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Crystal Palace 2-1 Leicester City

Crystal Palace have turned their season on its head in recent weeks as Sam Allardyce has worked his magic once again. They have won five of their last six and could overtake Leicester with a win on Saturday. The Foxes have also turned their season around since a managerial change but they have a Champions League quarter-final to focus on and that distraction could see Palace take full advantage in this one.

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Everton 2-1 Burnley

Everton stunned Leicester with an impressive attacking display last weekend but still showed their defensive issues. Romelu Lukaku is the Premier League’s top scorer and he will be looking forward to causing the Burnley defence problems here. Sean Dyche’s side have conceded 44 goals this season but look comfortable in mid-table.

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Watford 1-2 Swansea City

If Swansea stand any chance of staying in the Premier League they need to win games like this. A loss at Watford on Saturday would leave them in huge trouble, but Paul Clement has a team good enough to get the job done. Watford got battered at Spurs last week and look like a side that’s season is already over. They’re effectively safe from relegation and don’t need this as much as Swansea.

Southampton 1-3 Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side face a tricky away trip to Southampton on Saturday evening. The Saints will be looking to take a positive result here as they continue to apply pressure to West Brom above them in 8th. Manchester City cannot afford to drop points, they will potentially let Arsenal and Manchester United back into the race for the top four and miss the chance to go ahead of Liverpool by winning their game in hand.

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West Brom 1-1 Liverpool 

These are the sort of games Liverpool have struggled to win this season and they can expect another tricky test at the Hawthorns. They might have produced a comeback at Stoke last week but the Baggies are a tougher unit to break down and proved their threat with that 3-1 win over Arsenal a few weeks ago. Liverpool can’t really afford to drop any more points if they are to secure a top four spot, but they might have to settle for one point on Sunday.

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Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

Jose Mourinho welcomes league leading Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. He has faced his former employers twice already this season, losing both games. Antonio Conte’s side cannot afford to get complacent at this stage of the season as they are pushing for the title. United are on a 21-game unbeaten run and a draw looks a likely result this weekend.

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Middlesbrough 0-1 Arsenal

To call this the biggest game of Arsenal’s season might seem a bit farfetched, but a defeat at Middlesbrough could see their top four hopes all but ended, depending on results over the weekend. Boro are in trouble themselves and look set for relegation. They have struggled to find goals all season but will be giving it their all against the Gunners on Monday night. Arsenal have the quality to stroll past Middlesbrough but it depends which side shows up. If it’s the one that lost 3-0 at Palace last week, then they’ll be in big trouble.

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Yaya Toure’s agent reveals MLS not an option but hints at United switch

Yaya Toure’s Manchester City career looks set to come to an end this summer but he might not be leaving the city, with his agent Dimitri Seluk suggesting a move to rivals Manchester United could happen.

Toure is believed to be keen on extending his contract at the Etihad but with his current deal set to expire in three months and no sign of a new offer from City, Seluk has started the process of finding the Ivorian midfielder a new club.

At 33, Toure still has at least a couple more seasons in the tank but he looks set to remain in Europe with his agent dismissing offers from China and MLS as he looks to find the two-time Premier League winner a new home.

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“Some clubs have contacted me,” Seluk said. “Now we have three options. I don’t speak about Yaya and China or the MLS. He will play in Europe. I have spoken with clubs in different countries; Italy and Spain.

“We waited until March 15 for what Manchester City will say but until now Manchester City don’t say anything. Before March, we didn’t negotiate with anybody because Yaya does a lot with Manchester City, so we waited. But we cannot wait until the last minute.”

Toure could well stay in the Premier League, with Seluk suggesting a shock move to City’s arch rivals United could still go ahead, while praising Jose Mourinho as a great coach.

“Why not?” Seluk said when asked about a possible move to Old Trafford. “Jose Mourinho is a very good coach. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was together with Yaya in Barcelona.

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“I understand this is two clubs who are rivals but for me, this is not a problem from Yaya or from me, this problem will be from Manchester City staff.”

Toure was frozen out of Pep Guardiola’s plans at the start of the season because of comments made by Seluk and his latest outburst will have done little to help an already fragile season.

The former Barcelona midfielder has gone on to play 21 games for the Citizens this season, scoring six goals, but was left on the bench as City crashed out of the Champions League in Monaco on Wednesday night.

Can you see Yaya Toure going to Manchester United this summer?

FA Cup Quarter-Final Predictions: Big guns to deliver, another tough Chelsea return for Jose’s United

The FA Cup quarter-finals take place over the weekend with six Premier League clubs battling for a spot in the semis. Middlesbrough host Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime, while Arsenal face a non-league side once again in Lincoln City later on in the day. The remaining two games are spread over the following two days as Tottenham host League One side Millwall on Sunday and it’s another Chelsea return for Jose Mourinho with Manchester United heading to Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Read on for all four of our FA Cup quarter-final predictions…

Middlesbrough 1-3 Manchester City

Middlesbrough had to wait to find out who their opponents were in the quarter-final due to City’s replay against Huddersfield. It’s fair to say Pep Guardiola’s side made light work of reaching the quarters at the second attempt with their 5-1 win. Boro will have to work extremely hard to progress here considering they have won just three games in 2017 but City will be aware all of those wins have come in the FA Cup. However, the depth of Guardiola’s squad should see them through comfortably this weekend.

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Arsenal 4-1 Lincoln City

Arsenal face their second non-league side in a row in the competition with the visit of Lincoln after the away side stunned Premier League outfit Burnley with an astonishing late winner in the previous round. Arsene Wenger simply cannot lose this game, the pressure has continually mounted on him this season and if he is to depart at the end of the campaign he will wish to do so with silverware. This is Arsenal’s last chance of a trophy this season and they should progress into the semi-final without too much difficulty.

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Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Millwall

Spurs face off against League One side Millwall on Sunday afternoon in a game that is expected to be hotly contested both on the field and in the stands. Harry Kane comes up against another of his former clubs at which he spent time on loan and with the incredible form the Spurs striker is in it is difficult not to see him finding the back of the net once again. Dare we say there could be another Kane hat-trick at White Hart Lane?

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Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United (A.E.T)

This is clearly the standout fixture of the quarter-finals. Jose Mourinho endured an incredibly tough return to Stamford Bridge earlier in the season in that 4-0 loss and he will make sure his side are not humiliated again. This looks a tie likely to reach extra-time, since there are no longer replays in this round of the competition. The game is going to be a battle, United are without their talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Antonio Conte will be expecting his side to do what they’ve been doing all season and get the job done. Chelsea to edge it.

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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? 

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, January 21 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Man City 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Spurs 13/5

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Spurs to the Etihad on Saturday evening in what is the biggest game of the weekend in the Premier League.

All eyes will be on Pep Guardiola and his City team after their embarrassing 4-0 loss at Everton last Sunday. The Spanish coach has never lost six league games in one season, but he is one defeat away from doing so and knows this is a real test.

Manchester City have proven they can perform incredibly well, but have also proven to be as vulnerable as anyone else at the back. That cost them again last weekend and they will be wary of facing the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who are in fine goalscoring form with Spurs.

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City come into the weekend in fifth place, three points behind second-placed Tottenham so this is a real six-pointer at the top of the table. A win for either side would send out another important statement as the title race looks set to heat up once again over the next couple of weeks.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men are looking to break a club record if they can make it seven league wins on the bounce at the Etihad on Saturday. They enter the game off the back of a stunning 4-0 win over West Brom last week, in which they put in one of the most dominating performances seen this season.

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City should offer a much stiffer test though, and Pochettino will know not to underestimate them despite their poor run of form.

Spurs came out on top in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane back in October, winning 2-0. That means they’ve now won three in a row against the Citizens and will be looking to make it four on the spin for the first time since May 2010 here.

Team News

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is close to making a return but is not yet deemed fit enough to start a match of this magnitude. Ilkay Gundogan and Fernando remain sidelined through injury, while Fernandinho is still suspended and will miss out once again. Pablo Zabaleta may start in midfield again, with Guardiola short of options.

Tottenham have been dealt a blow in defence as Jan Vertonghen looks set to miss up to 10 weeks of action after rolling his ankle in last weekend’s win over West Brom. Erik Lamela is close to making his long-awaited return but is unlikely to be fit enough to even make the bench here.

Key Points

Man City’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Pep Guardiola has lost five league games already this season. He’s never lost more than five in a single season during his career.

Key Player: Christian Eriksen – The Spurs playmaker is in incredible form, having picked up four assists in his last four Premier League outings. He has scored on both of his previous two trips to the Etihad Stadium and will be looking to prove the difference once again here.

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Score Prediction

Man City 1-1 Spurs – This is an extremely difficult game to predict, given how important it is for both sides. City need to ensure they avoid defeat against their top six rivals, but last weekend’s thumping at Everton will have left supporters very anxious for the visit of an in-form Spurs team. Tottenham also need to avoid defeat to keep their title hopes alive, but they know this isn’t an easy place to visit and may struggle without Vertonghen at the back. A score draw looks the most likely outcome.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, December 18  – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Man City 11/10 – Draw 13/5 – Arsenal 23/10

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Etihad on Sunday afternoon in what is a huge Premier League clash between both sides as they look to go into Christmas in high spirits.

City have been far from the side they looked when they won ten-straight games to start the season. They did beat Watford on Wednesday night but had lost back-to-back league games prior to that.

Pep Guardiola is facing the toughest test of his managerial career and will be looking to get past a fellow title rival in Arsenal to alleviate some pressure in the club’s final game before Christmas.

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City will once again be without Sergio Aguero though, and that could cause them problems. They will need Kelechi Iheanacho to lead the line against a Gunners defence that looked sloppy in Tuesday’s defeat at Everton.

Arsenal arrive at the Etihad knowing a win would move them back to within six points of league leaders Chelsea but also know that a defeat would see them fall behind City into fourth place.

This is a huge game for Arsene Wenger. He watched his side throw away three points at Goodison Park in the week and will need his players to remain focused on the tough task at hand if they are to keep their good recent record against City intact.

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Arsenal are unbeaten in six games against Manchester City, with their last defeat coming three years ago, but Wenger has only managed to beat Guardiola in two of their previous eight clashes.

Team News

Manchester City remain without suspended duo Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho here, while Vincent Kompany has been joined by Ilkay Gundogan on the sidelines. Fabian Delph is not yet fit enough to be involved but John Stones should return after being rested during the midweek win over Watford.

Arsenal still have a long injury list to deal with. Chuba Akpom, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Per Mertesacker and Shkodran Mustafi are all still sidelined, as is Danny Welbeck although the striker has returned to training. Aaron Ramsey is still a doubt.

Key Points

Man City’s last five: W/W/L/L/W

Arsenal’s last five: D/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: There have been 24 goals in the last six games between these two sides – an average of four per game.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Arsenal striker has been in excellent form this season, scoring 12 league goals. He has now contributed to 27 goals in his last 27 Premier League games and will hope to be the difference-maker on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Man City 2-2 Arsenal – Goals are expected on Sunday as both sides have shown frailties at the back in recent weeks. City know they must avoid defeat here to keep their title hopes intact but Arsenal will be looking to avoid back-to-back league defeats for the first time in two seasons, so a score draw looks likely in what should be an entertaining game.