Every coach in the Premier League right now (especially those managing the top six sides) and those who think they have a shot at winning the league (excluding Arsene Wenger of course) must all have the same wish at the top of their wish lists at the moment.
They must all be hoping that other teams can beat the current table toppers, Manchester City.
In 12 games, the Cityzens have scored 40 goals and conceded just 7 – the best in the league so far. While at it, they’ve also been playing some free-flowing attacking football and have been exciting to watch.
Considering that they’ve dropped points only once all season (in their 1-1 draw against Everton) and have registered the highest number of shots on target (88), it’s not hard to see why they seem to be running away with the title.
Or at least that’s what the whole world thinks.
With the rest of the world still awe of the Pep Way, I will try to provide a winning approach to playing against Manchester City. However if all fails, we can know that we at least tried.
In all their games, Manchester City has enjoyed a lion share of the ball possession. This makes it difficult already for any Premier League team to beat them. With ball possession out of the equation, the opposition team has to make sure of their concentration.
Every run has to be tracked, the spaces closed and concentration needs to be a 100 percent.
50 – Kevin De Bruyne has now had a hand in 50 @premierleague goals (16 goals, 34 assists). He has done this in 76 PL apps, which is the quickest by any out-and-out midfielder in the history of the competition. Wizard. pic.twitter.com/hNNYZZTyR5
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 18, 2017
- Kevin De Bruyne
By a mile, he has been the best player in the PL this season and is set to be player of the league with his performances. His passes and his crosses have been top notch. He moves intelligently, he shoots, stronger foot, weaker foot, he scores.
He cannot afford to be given any space. I repeat you cannot afford, as a team, to let the Belgian dictate play when you come against Manchester City.
- Leroy Sane
The amount of improvement we have witnessed in his game is… erm insane?
For City, he has been an attacking outlet that attacks and attacks. With the ball at his feet, there’s almost no stopping him. So you need full-backs that can defend against the pace, trickery and directness Sane and Sterling offer City.
Harry Kane to BILD: "The best German player in the Premier League? Leroy Sané of Manchester City. He just impresses me. He is so fast, aggressive, difficult to stop in one against one and he's scored often this season. It's nice to have him in the Premier League." pic.twitter.com/s6vr6SdO5I
— City Watch (@City_Watch) November 19, 2017
If afforded the opportunity and the space, they will put the ball in the back of the net. Man-marking them may be a good place to start.
- Attack, Attack with caution and take your chances.
Except you’re Jose Mourinho and will be content with a draw, you actually need a goal or two to win a match. And you (actually) need to attack to score a goal. However this is where you can shoot yourself in the foot.
City transition very fast and unlike most teams, play with 11 outfield players, with their goalkeeper, Ederson involved in City’s build-up play as any of their outfield players. The Brazilian has played an active role in passing the ball around for City, something that has earned him a pass percentage of 84.11%.
Since you have these and many more to contend against when playing against Pep Guardiola’s men, you need to take your chances when they come because they won’t be very many.
You’ll need lots of it.
Author: Kolawole Awolope
Think about that Gerrard shot in the 2005 UCL final, the CR7 celebration and Messi running in between defenders.
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