Guardi­ola must change to beat Chelsea

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER CITY boss Pep Guardi­ola must im­prove his side’s record against the big clubs to win the Premier League, ac­cord­ing to Jamie Red­knapp.

City host league lead­ers Chelsea to­mor­row with just one point sep­a­rat­ing the two sides.

In their clashes with the league’s big­ger teams, City have beaten neighbours Manch­ester United but were com­pre­hen­sively beaten by Tot­ten­ham.

And Red­knapp feels Guardi­ola must rec­tify their in­dif­fer­ent re­sults and come up with a way of break­ing down Chelsea’s 3-4-3 sys­tem.

He told Sky Sports: “City’s record against the big teams is just not good enough. That’s what Guardi­ola has got to change.

“They can beat the lesser teams and beat them com­fort­ably, but can they go and beat the likes of Chelsea, Liver­pool and Arse­nal?

“That is where they re­ally strug­gled last year and it may be what stops City win­ning the league un­less Guardi­ola can change that.

“So this is a huge game for them, I can’t wait to watch it and see what tac­ti­cally Guardi­ola has in store for Conte with this sys­tem he plays.

“Maybe Tot­ten­ham first half found the an­swer, it is just whether some­one can do it for a whole game.” – Ex­press News­pa­pers

in a news­pa­per interview.

It was the fi­nal straw for City after a his­tory of em­bar­rass­ing out­bursts by Seluk.

But after mak­ing a per­sonal apol­ogy to Guardi­ola and los­ing some weight as his man­ager had de­manded, Toure was re­stored to the squad and was in­cluded in the start­ing XI for the last two Premier League games.

He scored twice on his come­back in the 2-1 win at Crys­tal Palace and then played a part in the vic­tory by the same score at Burn­ley on Satur­day.

But that is un­likely to be enough to pre­vent Toure, 33, from drop­ping to the bench for the Eti­had show­down with An­to­nio Conte’s side be­cause Guardi­ola is set to re­call Ilkay Gun­do­gan.

The Ger­man in­ter­na­tional, a £21mil­lion sum­mer buy from Borus­sia Dort­mund and re­garded as Toure’s long-term re­place­ment, was rested from Palace and Burn­ley games but is ex­pected to be re­called to the last reestabish Guardi­ola’s pre­ferred mid­field part­ner­ship with Fer­nand­inho. – Ex­press News­pa­pers

Wed­nes­day. Southgate is keen to stamp his own iden­tity on Eng­land and a de­ci­sion on the cap­taincy is high on the agenda and in­deed handed the arm­band to Liver­pool mid­fielder Jor­dan Hen­der­son for two of the four games he was in charge of as in­terim boss – with Rooney dropped in Slove­nia and in­jured against Spain. And yes­ter­day FA tech­ni­cal direc­tor Dan Ash­worth said: “Gareth will be start­ing to think about some of the changes he wants to make for March and go­ing for­wards. Like any new man­ager does in any po­si­tion, they want to stamp their own per­son­al­ity on it, make a few changes and make it more like his own.” The for­mer Eng­land de­fender and Mid­dles­brough man­ager’s first game in charge as per­ma­nent coach will the friendly against Ger­many in Dort­mund in March, fol­lowed by the World Cup qual­i­fier against Lithua­nia at Wem­b­ley. Southgate, who came through an un­beaten in­terim pe­riod be­fore be­ing handed the task of suc­ceed­ing Sam Al­lardyce – he was the only can­di­date in fact con­sid­ered – said: “I’m ex­tremely proud to be ap­pointed Eng­land man­ager. I’m also con­scious that get­ting the job is one thing, now I want to do the job suc­cess­fully. “I’ve thor­oughly en­joyed work­ing with the play­ers over th­ese past four games and I think there’s huge po­ten­tial. I’m de­ter­mined to give ev­ery­thing I have to give the coun­try a team that they’re proud of and one that they’re go­ing to en­joy watch­ing play and de­velop. For me, the hard work starts now.” – Ex­press News­pa­pers

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