Back line key to semi-final triumph
- 12 April 2013 09:05
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Ahead of Sunday’s semi-final showdown, media reports today have identified City’s defensive prowess as a vital contribution to the Blues’ cause.
Website the Bleacher Report points to a back line stuffed with talent which has proved to be the meanest in the Premier League so far this term – just 27 goals conceded in the league.
“In Vincent Kompany, City have a leading centre-back capable of dealing with just about any striker in the world, likely on this occasion to be either Fernando Torres or Demba Ba, who’s struggling with injury but expected to be fit according to The Daily Mail,” the website reports.
“Looking out wide, Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy have contributed significantly to the City cause this season, helping to earn their club the bragging rights of best defence in the English top flight.
“Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar undoubtedly pose the biggest threat to Joe Hart’s goal but the Citizens' full-backs are among the best in Europe right now and have the capacity to neutralise such threats, as they have done twice already this season.”
In a similar vein, Kevin Keegan has been singing the praises of young centre-back Matija Nastasic, and reckons he has the potential to become one of the best defenders in the country.
The Independent’s Simon Stone writes: “The 20-year-old has been one of the stand-out performers for City this season and seems certain to partner skipper Vincent Kompany in central defence for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea.
“Keegan has certainly been impressed with the £12million signing from Fiorentina.
"‘I really like him," said Keegan. ‘He has come in and played as if he has been there for ever.
That Mancini put him in for his debut against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu tells you everything you need to know about him.
"‘In five or six years time you could see him developing into a Vidic. He could become even bigger than Vidic, who has probably been the best centre half in this country for the last five or six years.’”
Finally, the Edinson Cavani story is back in the papers once more – this one looks set to run and run!
Napoli forward Goran Pandev has now urged his club not to sell the reported City and Chelsea target, according to TalkSport.
The website notes: “The Premier League pair both want to sign Cavani in the summer and a bidding war is expected.
“Napoli's biggest star is valued at over £50million but money is no object to the cash-rich duo.
“The situation has worried Pandev, who says the club need to keep their stars and coach together if they want to be successful.
"‘If Napoli want to continue growing then Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and boss Walter Mazzarri need to stay,’ the Macedonian told Il Mattino.”
Remember, we’ll be the first to bring you any confirmed transfer news this summer on mcfc.co.uk!