Saturday, September 30, 2023

How Manchester City Will Line-Up With their New Stars

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Pep Guardiola has been fairly busy in the transfer market this summer as he looks to add players to the squad who will help in implementing his philosophy at the club. What has been interesting to note is that contrary to popular belief, Pep has not looked to lure any of his former stars to Manchester City and his signings imply he is preparing to start from scratch at the Etihad. Yesterday, City finally wrapped up the signing of John Stones from Everton for a reported 47.5m which makes him the costliest British defender of all time. While the anticipated expansive defensive overhaul was missing, the signing of Stones provides new and hopefully improved options to the manager.

It is widely expected Pep will tweak a lot with his tactics initially in order to ascertain the best possible one for the current set of players but 4-2-3-1 can be considered as a set pattern with which he will start off.


Joe Hart will be hoping he gets a fair chance to impress the new manager after an uncertain summer. It is widely believed Hart doesn’t fully fit into the Catalan’s approach of building from the back and will find it difficult to inculcate that aspect into his game at such an advanced stage of his career. Sagna will be the first choice but Zabaleta will look to impose himself in the opportunities he gets. Stones and a fit again Kompany will marshall the defence with Clichy at left-back.


Ideally, Gundogan and Fernandinho are expected to form the double-pivot but Yaya Toure will surely feature which will lead to a degree of rotation over the midfield. David Silva will look to float around in the advanced areas and look to pull the strings thus connecting the midfield and the attack. Silva looks to have left behind his recurring ankle issues and it is imperative he manages his fitness this season.


Nolito and Sane have added to the options on the flank which will see intense competition amongst the players. But it is expected Pep will be flexible with the positions and while initially, it is likely that De Bruyne and Sane will take up the flanks, Nolito and Sterling along with Navas will also be fighting for game time. And the three attackers behind the striker will interchange amongst themselves according to the manager’s instruction. Up top, City don’t have too many options in the form of out and out strikers with Aguero and Ihenacho likely to feature majorly over the season. Wilfried Bony is expected to go through the exit door after being left out of the 21-man squad for the Champions League qualifier.

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