Guardian: Aguero v Lucas battle could be key
- 28 February 2016 08:45
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Rise and shine! It’s Capital One Cup final day and so no it’s no surprise to see this afternoon’s Wembley showdown dominating the back pages you’re waking up to.
Vincent Kompany chest-beating battle cry takes centre stage (you can read the skipper’s thoughts here) but what else is making City-centric headlines?
We start with the Guardian’s tactical preview where ZonalMarking.net’s Michael Cox has pinpointed the Aguero versus Lucas Leiva head-to-head as potentially pivotal in deciding who will win the trophy.
Cox writes; Jürgen Klopp has increasingly played midfielder Lucas Leiva at centre-back recently – and after initially appearing baffled by the decision, the Brazilian has adjusted impressively, and performed well in the 1-0 Europa League win over Augsburg on Thursday evening.
“Fielding Lucas alongside Mamadou Sakho, who offers more typical centre-back qualities, Klopp has stumbled upon a short-term solution to Liverpool’s defensive woes.
“Facing Agüero, however, is a different proposition. Lucas is blessed with good positional sense and reads the game excellently, but he has little chance of matching Agüero’s searing pace.
“Although the Argentinian usually makes runs into the inside-right channel, where Sakho will be located, he will surely change his position and instead look to run in behind Lucas, who will want to defend deep, but if City get the ball forward quickly, he could be exposed.”
One to keep an eye on perhaps… moving on, Kelechi Iheanacho has thanked Manuel Pellegrini for the opportunity he’s been giving in his breakthrough season at the club.
Manuel has gone on record on a number of occasions to point to the Nigerian’s abilities as the reason he didn’t go into the transfer market for another striker when Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic left the club.
Iheanacho is quoted on SkySports.com: “"I am very happy to be in the Capital One Cup final. I am looking forward to it. If I start it is fine but if I am a substitute I will just wait to get a go.
"I am happy to be scoring a few goals this season. It has not been easy but I think the hard work has worked so I will continue working hard every day in training and games.
“I am very happy to hear that from the boss and to not sign another striker. He believes in me, trusts in me, so I need to give him the best and give the team the best."
You can read all manner of player previews, Talking Points and historical pieces centring on today’s game on mcfc.co.uk but we’ll move on to look at some of the transfer speculation in this morning’s papers, starting with rumours surrounding Edinson Cavani’s future.
The Sun reports: “Chelsea and Manchester City have been sounded out over a deal for the unsettled Paris Saint-Germain forward, even though he has two years left on his deal.
“Cavani, 29, has his heart set on England after three seasons in France.
“Manchester United are long-term admirers of Cavani but failure to reach the Champions League could damage their chances of landing him.”
Finally, the Mail have run with a story that suggests City are now front-runners to sign Everton defender John Stones and that Chelsea will turn their attentions to Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann as a result.
Mail journalist Rob Draper scribes: “Chelsea fear they have missed out on bringing John Stones to the club this summer with the England centre-half increasingly looking like he will be the first signing of the Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City in a £45million deal.
Chelsea bid £38m for Stones last summer but City now look favourites to sign the England defender when Guardiola takes over as manager in June.”
Remember, all completed transfers will be reported first here on the official site when the deals are done.
That’s all for today… join us for all of the live build-up and updates from Wembley in the Match Day Centre and on the CityMatchday app very shortly.
Come on City!!!