All you need to know about Man City
Key player: Sergio Aguero
For all the talk of how Raheem Sterling and Virgil van Dijk are the primary players in contention for the player of the season award, it remains the case that Sergio Aguero remains the Citizens’ leading marksmen.
He has 30 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, compared with Sterling’s 23 goals and 16 assists, leaving the Argentine with a goal or assist every 76 minutes, compared with every 94 minutes for Sterling.
A weakness at centre-back has been an issue for us all season, with only Victor Lindelof looking
the real deal, and Aguero has the ability to punish the best in the business, let alone the cumbersome duo of Chris Smalling or Phil Jones.
Weak link: left back
It’s hard to identify a weak link in City’s team but left-back has to be the area that can be targeted most effectively, even if Guardiola has options with Danilo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Benjamin Mendy all available. However, Danilo is better on the other side and has barely got a look in recently, not even making the squad let alone the bench for all three recent clashes with Spurs.
Mendy has phenomenal ability but has missed so much time through injury this season and last that despite managing 90 minutes against Palace and 84 minutes in the second leg against Spurs in Europe, it’s understandable that he’s not looking as sharp as a couple of years ago just yet.
Meanwhile, Guardiola’s other options are midfielders Zinchenko and Delph, with the latter having been found wanting before, but while Zinchenko will likely be given the nod, he can (unsurprisingly for an attacking midfielder/winger) lose concentration defensively on occasion.
Strength from the bench
It’s a sign of the riches at Guardiola’s disposal that Leroy Sane has been utilized as a squad player of late, starting just four of their last 10 league matches and only playing more than an hour in two of these. The German clearly lacks Pep’s trust in the big games, featuring for a combined seven minutes across the two legs of their Champions League encounter with Spurs, while he couldn’t get off the bench for their recent FA Cup success over Brighton either.
However, the 23-year-old is hardly the only one struggling for game time, with £60m summer signing Riyad Mahrez being selected to start just two of 14 league games in 2019 to date, while Gabriel Jesus still has 19 goals across all competitions despite playing back up to Sergio Aguero. Indeed, the Brazilian has only started one of their last 12 league outings, while Phil Foden has started just two games all season.