Manchester City finally finds the two perfect combo of players that can ensure their win in the Premier League and treble in general this season - soocer442
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Manchester City finally finds the two perfect combo of players that can ensure their win in the Premier League and treble in general this season



In recent matches, Manchester City have appeared more formidable with the inclusion of Mateo Kovacic and mainstay Rodri.

On their return from the international break, Manchester City will have ten Premier League finals, one Champions League quarterfinal, and one Wembley FA Cup semi-final to contend with. In order to ensure victory in their remaining treble matches, Pep Guardiola must implement a system that strikes a balance between sufficient attacking license and control.

Manchester City finally finds the two perfect combo of players that can ensure their win in the Premier League and treble in general this seaso

Guardiola utilized Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish in a possession-based flank pairing during the previous campaign, with Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne operating behind Erling Haaland. Aside from the absence of Gundogan this season, Phil Foden’s outstanding performance at number ten, De Bruyne’s injury history, and Julian Alvarez’s emergence as a backup option for Haaland all add to the complexity.

Additionally, City has altered its strategy, substituting Kyle Walker for Bernardo on the right flank and bringing Bernardo or Foden inside as an inverted number ten. Grealish has not reached the heights of the previous season, and both Foden and Jeremy Doku appeared threatening on the left flank at the beginning of the current campaign.

Guardiola is deliberating on whether Alvarez, Doku, Grealish, or Bernardo is selected to complete that front three. If Kevin De Bruyne is sidelined by injury, Bernardo may replace him in the midfield, with Rodri continuing to anchor the operation from midfield.

However, if Guardiola desires control, he could do worse than relying on Mateo Kovacic, who effectively stabilized the ship after coming on as a substitute at Anfield and then delivered a composed performance alongside Rodri against Newcastle.

Kovacic began the season positioned in the midfield, but a few lackluster performances cost him his starting job. Following his substitution for Rodri in the three September and October losses, which culminated in a dreadful afternoon at Arsenal, Kovacic has retreated and is now a viable option to accompany Rodri and offer Guardiola a double pivot who provides the desired level of control.

Ilkay Gundogan was instrumental in connecting defense and offense the year before, utilizing Rodri to collect loose balls, propel the team forward, and score a few goals. Kovacic effectively executes at least two of these strategies.

Kovacic has yet to earn Guardiola’s trust for the major games, as he has been omitted from the starting lineup each time City has played Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, or Aston Villa in the Premier League. However, in contrast, he has started in 33 of City’s 45 games thus far this season, with a single loss in his last 25.

Recent results indicate that he is prepared to make a return to the starting lineup for the decisive matches, and Rodri is certain that the Croat’s presence in midfield has improved his performance.

“In all honesty, I believe he is an excellent fit for me,” Rodri stated over the weekend. “The type of player to whom one can pass; he passes once more, and our team gains complete control of the game.” He is a seasoned player who has amassed numerous victories.

“With more expertise than anyone else on this team, he is an outstanding player. You have observed him in recent years at Real Madrid and Chelsea, among other places. Without a doubt, he will remain vitally essential to us until the very end. I am completely certain of this.”

It is not a terrible thing to allow Rodri to perform at his peak, nor is it detrimental to replicate the system that won the treble last season. Kovacic, who has experience winning elite contests, can provide City with the confidence that an additional line of defense will maintain the pressure as they launch an assault.

It would necessitate the withdrawal of another attacker, but such is Guardiola’s situation at this time of year. Arrival must be a team effort.

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