Manchester City powerhouse linked with HUGE money move to Italy

Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini is reportedly lining up a big money move for Manchester City‘s midfield powerhouse Yaya Toure and according to La Gazetta Dello Sport, Inter are willing to pay €60m (£43.5m) for the 31-year-old Ivorian.

Toure is yet to sign a new deal with Man City and it is looking increasingly more likely that he could move on this summer, with Mancini interested in acquiring the services of his former player once again.

Mancini has claimed that Inter will be dipping into the transfer market this summer in order to strengthen the squad.

“Some change will happen next year. We have a chance to take a top player because we are Inter, a top team and we have to fight for the title.”

Yaya Toure’s contract doesn’t expire until 2017, so he won’t come cheaply but Mancini wants a world-class star to help the Nerazzurri take a step towards regaining their European status and bringing success back to the club.

Toure played a pivotal role in helping Mancini bring success to Manchester City and still possesses the same qualities to do so if he were to join Inter.

Having made 22 appearances so far this campaign, Toure has been missed for City who are off the pace in the Premier League title race, but he has still netted seven goals and his current boss Manuel Pellegrini will not want to let the star go.

Will Yaya Toure leave Manchester City this summer?

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs West Brom

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, March 21 – 12:45 GMT (08:45 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – West Brom 9/1

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome West Brom to the Etihad stadium on Saturday lunchtime in a must win game for the Premier League reigning champions.

Man City’s hopes of retaining their title are rapidly fading after they were dealt another major blow by losing 1-0 to Burnley at Turf Moor last Saturday and are now six points behind leaders Chelsea who also have a game in hand.

West Brom returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win at home to Stoke last weekend thanks to a goal from in-form striker Brown Ideye and they look set to comfortably secure their Premier League status for the sixth consecutive season.

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Manuel Pellegrini needs to make sure his City side don’t suffer a hangover from their midweek defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp which saw them eliminated from the Champions League and has made their preparation time for this game very short.

The Citizens have recorded just three wins in their last nine games (D3, L3) which has seen them drop way off the pace at the top of the table and also allowed the chasing pack to get within touching distance.

Failure to win for City could potentially see them slip down to third place in the league and a defeat may also see them fall as far as fourth depending on Arsenal and Manchester United’s results, so it’s imperative they get a victory, not only for their title hopes but also for the Champions League qualification fight.

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Tony Pulis‘ West Brom side have only lost two of their last ten in the league (W4, D4), so they certainly pose a threat and may smell blood after City’s inconsistent recent form.

Having said that, two wins from 14 on the road this season doesn’t make for pretty reading for the Baggies and their last win away at Man City was a 2-1 success back in February 2003.

West Brom are eight points above the drop zone with nine games remaining, so two or three more wins would almost guarantee their safety.

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The reverse fixture at The Hawthorns on Boxing Day ended in a 3-1 win for Man City who will be desperately hoping for a repeat result.

Team News

Man City have no known injuries or suspensions to report and will hope that the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero can find their form.

West Brom will be without goalkeeper Ben Foster after he picked up a knee injury in the game against Stoke. Chris Brunt and Claudio Yacob will also miss the game through suspension. Victor Anichebe could return to the squad following a groin injury, while Brown Ideye will hope to recover from a knock he picked up last weekend. Callum McManaman is suffering with a foot injury and is a doubt.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/L/W/L

West Brom’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: West Brom have never won at the Etihad Stadium (P7, D2, L5).

Key Player: David Silva – The Spanish midfield maestro is instrumental and if opponents stifle him, then City tend to struggle. If Silva can find time and space to pull the strings then Man City will be confident of victory.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion – City know they aren’t performing to the best of their ability at the moment and they will need to grind out a result against a well organised West Brom side.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs Manchester City

Venue: Anfield – Sunday, March 1st – 12:00 GMT (07:00 ET)

Match Odds: Liverpool 15/8 – Draw 5/2 – Man City 11/8

Match Preview

Liverpool and Manchester City clash at Anfield on Sunday lunchtime in what is undoubtedly one of the biggest games of the Premier League season so far.

Liverpool come in to this game as the form side in the Premier League and they have managed to propel themselves to within just two points of the all important top-four places as they continue their fight to qualify for Champions league football.

Man City are desperate for points as they look to close the gap on league leaders Chelsea in an attempt to retain their Premier League title. A win for City would leave them just two points off the top with Chelsea in League Cup final action against Tottenham this weekend.

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Brendan Rodgers saw his Liverpool side suffer defeat over the course of 90 minutes for the first time in 18 games in all competitions when they lost 1-0 to Turkish side Besiktas before being knocked out on penalties in their Europa League last-32 second-leg tie in Istanbul on Thursday night.

However, the Reds are on a 10-game unbeaten run in the Premier League (W7, D3), they’re the only team that haven’t lost in 2015 and they’ve kept five clean sheets in their last six games.

Visitors Manchester City also suffered a midweek defeat as Barcelona beat them 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 knockout round on Tuesday.

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Although Manuel Pellegrini and his players look to have come out the other side of a sticky spell in the Premier League after comprehensive 4-1 and 5-0 wins over Stoke and Newcastle respectively. Before those two victories, City had recorded just one win in six games (D4, L1).

Goals from Stevan Jovetic and Sergio Aguero helped Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 in the reverse fixture back in August but memories of Liverpool’s 3-2 win over City at Anfield last year will still be fresh in the mind of both sides.

It’s a crucial fixture for each of these teams and they will both be absolutely desperate to pick up all three points, which could make for a potential Premier League classic.

Team News

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho is expected to return to the starting line-up after being rested against Besiktas. Glen Johnson (illness), Mamadou Sakho (injury) and Lazar Markovic (suspension) are all available once again. Jordan Henderson will face a late decision over an ankle injury and skipper Steven Gerrard could return to the squad. Lucas Leiva, Jon Flanagan and Brad Jones are all still out injured.

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Manchester City face no injury or suspension problems, but they will be delighted to welcome Yaya Toure back to the side after he missed the midweek defeat to Barcelona through suspension.

Key Points

Liverpool’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/D/W/W

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/D/W/W

Key Stat: Manchester City haven’t won at Anfield on their last 12 visits. They have also recorded just one win on Merseyside against Liverpool in their previous 26 attempts.

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Key Player: Yaya Toure – It’s hard to look past Toure as the key player. He’s so influential to this City side and it’s no coincidence that they seem to have found their form now he’s returned from the African Cup of Nations.

Score Prediction

Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City – This is a battle of two excellent sides and we can expect an entertaining affair. We should see goals at both ends and a draw seems the most likely result with so much at stake.

How important is James Milner to Manchester City?

There has been much talk of whether or not James Milner will get a new Manchester City contract and Lewis Addley explores his importance to the side…

James Milner has been enjoying some of the best form of his career and certainly his best performances for Manchester City in recent times.

Milner has featured 22 times in the Premier League so far this season and as well as scoring the important equalising goal against Hull City two weeks ago, he also netted in the 4-1 win at Stoke. He now has five goals in all competitions, including one in the Champions League.

His contract is due to expire at the end of this season and it isn’t clear yet whether or not it will be renewed, though Manuel Pellegrini has been quick to praise the 29-year-old midfielder already this season.

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“James is a very important player for our team. Knowing the way he thinks we will see the same Milner with a contract or without a contract. He is a great professional,” the City boss said.

The former Aston Villa and Newcastle man is a doubt for Manchester City’s game against the Magpies this weekend as well as their Champions League tie against Barcelona next Tuesday, and he will be missed in both of those games.

Milner is a tremendous utility player and can play as a right-back as well as numerous midfield positions. He can comfortably play on either wing, or even as the playmaker in behind the striker as he did so effectively at Stoke in the Citizens’ last game.

Milner covered more ground than any other player this season during that game as he ran an incredible 13.56km over the course of 90 minutes, deservedly picking up a goal and an assist for his efforts.

Numerous Premier League clubs would be interested in signing James Milner if he is to leave City in the summer and it would be a loss to the reigning champions as he is one of their most effective midfielders.

James Milner's Premier League stats compared to Manchester City's other attacking midfielders (stats via Squawka)

James Milner’s Premier League stats compared to Manchester City’s other attacking midfielders (stats via Squawka)

Pellegrini has opted to play Milner in a number of big games already this season and needs the England international back to fitness as they face the difficult task of clawing back the difference in the race for the title.

Milner will be required even more so next season as City will lose Frank Lampard this summer as he is set to make his MLS move to New York City FC in July, when his contract expires.

The performances of Milner have certainly shown his desire to earn a new contract and he has a lot to offer the City side. His tenacity and desire to work hard for his team makes Milner one of the most unsung heroes in this Manchester City side and they would likely struggle without him.

Is Milner too important for Manchester City to lose this summer?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Newcastle

Manchester City vs. Newcastle: Premier League

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, February 21st – 17:30PM (12:30PM ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – Newcastle 9/1

Newcastle United travel to Manchester City on Saturday evening as major underdogs as they look to end a worrying streak of 16 straight Premier League games without a win against the reigning champions.

City ended a poor streak of their own last time out as they beat Stoke 4-1 to end a winless run of four in the league and need to continue winning matches if they are to have any chance of catching Chelsea at the top of the table.

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Manuel Pellegrini is boosted by the return of Yaya Toure to the side as well as new signing Wilfried Bony after the pair won the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast earlier this month.

Bony is in line to make his City debut as Sergio Aguero is facing a battle to be fit in time after he picked up a back injury in the win at Stoke two weeks ago.

Manchester City’s home record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 7 – Drawn 3 – Lost 2

Newcastle are unbeaten in three in the league now but travel to City with a long list of injuries. Cheick Tiote could be out of action until April and joins Siem de Jong, Rolando Aarons, Steven Taylor, Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett, Jonas Gutierrez and Ryan Taylor on the sidelines.

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John Carver has Newcastle playing some better football but it will take a lot for them leave Manchester with at least a point this weekend.

The Magpies will look to their most recent meeting with City for confidence though as they beat them 2-0 at the Etihad back in October in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.

Newcastle United’s away record in the Premier League: Played 13 – Won 3 – Drawn 4 – Lost 6

It’s a very different story in the league though as Newcastle have been beaten in the last ten meetings between the two sides and haven’t won a league game at Manchester City in 15 years.

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/D/D/W

Newcastle’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/W/D/D

Key Stat: Manchester City have won their last nine games in all competitions when Yaya Toure has started the game.

Key Player: Moussa Sissoko – The Newcastle midfielder will need to try and keep Toure quiet and Sissoko can be a real threat himself, as he proved by scoring at the Etihad in October’s cup win.

Score Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle – City need this more and will be too strong for the Magpies.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Manchester City

Stoke City vs. Manchester City – Premier League

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Wednesday, February 11th – 19:45

Match Odds: Stoke 15/4 – Draw 11/4 – Manchester City 7/10

Stoke take on Manchester City at the Britannia on Wednesday night with the Potters aiming to complete a historic double against the current champions for the first time in Premier League history.

Mark Hughes watched his Stoke side beat the Citizens 1-0 at the Etihad back in August and he will now have his team fully focused on trying to take another three points from his former club.

Manchester City come into the game in very poor form by their high standards as they haven’t won a Premier League game in four and have only scored three in their last five in all competitions.

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Manuel Pellegrini watched his side battle back to earn a late point at home to Hull on Saturday in another poor result but City fans will hope James Milner’s stoppage time free-kick can inspire them to turn things around quickly.

City are seven points behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race going into the game and cannot afford to let the Blues gain any more of an advantage if they are to reclaim the title come May.

Stoke come into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw at Newcastle on Sunday and the Potters have only lost one league game in seven now.

Stoke City’s home record in the Premier League: Played 11 – Won 5 – Drawn 2 – Lost 4

Mark Hughes’ side are in their best form of the season and the home fans will fully expect to take something from the game, having only lost one of their last six at the Britannia in all competitions.

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Stoke’s win against Manchester City at the start of the season stunned the champions and a Stoke victory in this one would see them complete the double against City for the first time in the Premier League era.

Manchester City’s away record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 7 – Drawn 4 – Lost 1

Manchester City have only lost once away from home in the league all season in a 2-1 loss at West Ham and know they cannot afford to lose this one and that should make this an exciting contest.

Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure still remain out as they have yet to return from the African Cup of Nations and City have not won a game this season without Toure in the side.

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Peter Odemwingie, Bojan, Erik Pieters and Ryan Shawcross are all out for Stoke while former City man Stephen Ireland is also likely to miss the game.

Stoke City’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/W/W/D

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/D/D

Key Stat: Manchester City have never won at Stoke in the Premier League in six previous attempts (D5 L1).

Key Player: Mame Biram Diouf – The Senegalese forward returned from the African Cup of Nations in Sunday’s draw with Newcastle and his goal at the Etihad earlier in the season will still be in the minds of City fans and players alike.

Score Prediction: Stoke City 1–1 Manchester City – Can City do it on a cold Wednesday night in Stoke? No is probably the answer.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, January 31 – 17:30

Match Odds: Chelsea 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Manchester City 13/5

The Premier League resumes after last weekends FA Cup fourth round, a weekend the top two will want to forget. This is the biggest fixture of the season so far for Chelsea and Manchester City and it could be pivotal in the race for the title.

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Five points separate the sides going into the game and Chelsea could once again open up that vital eight point lead at the top of the table with a victory in front of their own fans.

We can expect a fiery and cagey tie as neither side will want to lose the upper hand.

Chelsea’s home record in the Premier League: Played 10 – Won 10 – Drawn 0 – Lost 0

Chelsea retain their fortress status in the Premier League at home this season and have that form to thank for still being at the head of the table. But last weekend showed they are capable of throwing games away at Stamford Bridge as they lost 4-2 to Bradford City, despite taking a two goal lead.

The Blues could once again be without top scorer Diego Costa as he is facing a ban after being charged for stamping on Emre Can in their midweek League Cup tie against Liverpool. They will definitely miss him if he cannot play.

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Manuel Pellegrini will have his men prepared to the maximum for this tie and they need to bounce back after their shock 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

We recall the drama of the return fixture where Chelsea legend Frank Lampard came off the bench to grab a share of the spoils for City in that 1-1 draw.

Manchester City’s away record in the Premier League: Played 11 – Won 7 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1

City’s away record hasn’t been too bad but they will have to win almost every game from now till the end of the season to maintain that pressure in the hope of Chelsea slip-ups as this is the last meeting between the sides and the pressure is on City in that sense.

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They will be without Yaya Toure and new-boy Wilfried Bony who are both still on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations.

A 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal in the last league game was not good enough from City and they must prove why they are the reigning champions against Chelsea on Saturday night if they are to stand a chance of retaining their title.

Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/W/W

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/W/D/L

Key Stat: Chelsea have not conceded a league goal at Stamford Bridge for five games in a spell that spans back to early November.

Key Player: Thibaut Courtois – the Chelsea keeper must be at his best as City will be looking for a smash and grab victory.

Chelsea vs. Man City Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City – the game is the most important of the season and City will have to throw everything at it to win, which they are more than capable of doing.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Arsenal

Manchester City entertain Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium this Sunday as they look to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Manuel Pellegrini will be frustrated from last weekend’s dropped points away at Everton when they seemingly had the game wrapped up.

City will be without the influential Yaya Toure who’s away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, as is new signing Wilfred Bony.

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Arsene Wenger needs a strong performance from his side, who need to keep pace with those chasing the Champions League places.

Manchester City’s home record: Played 10 – Won 7 – Drawn 2 – Lost 1 

City haven’t been as consistent as we know they can be on home turf this season, and they need to take the approach that Mourinho’s Chelsea have with winning all their home Premier League games this campaign, as that is the difference between the two sides.

Arsenal will be looking for inspiration from goal machine Alexis Sanchez, who punished some weak defending on City’s behalf in the return fixture.

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Arsenal’s away record: Played 10 – Won 4 – Drawn 3 – Lost 3

The Gunners have struggled on the road this season and this weekend’s game will be no easier for them, and they must avoid defeat at all costs as they are only one point outside the top four.

City will know what they have to do in terms of either taking the initiative to go top of the Premier League or keep pace with Chelsea, who play on Saturday away at Swansea, so the pressure is on.

We can expect a really intriguing tie with both sides conceding and scoring freely.

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

Arsenal’s last five: D/W/W/L/W

Key stat: Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games (9 wins, 3 draws).

Key player: Alexis Sanchez – Where would Arsenal be without him? His goals and assists have played a large part this season and he will be crucial again at the weekend.

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Score Prediction: Manchester City 2 – 1 Arsenal