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Pep Guardiola focused on Man City’s players, not Jose Mourinho

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In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves, Pep Guardiola insists he is focusing on the players ahead of the Manchester derby, not Jose Mourinho.

Guardiola has lost only three of his 16 meetings with Mourinho as a manager, winning seven and drawing six, and the two managers face off on Saturday at Old Trafford in the Premier League for the first time, live on Sky Sports 1 HD.

But the Spaniard insists the matters on the pitch will take centre stage once the first whistle blows.

Manchester Utd v Manchester City
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He told Shreeves: « At the end of the day it’s my players play against their players, and the end of the day that’s what’s important.

« There were a lot of games between me and him. He wanted to win, and I wanted to win. It’s part of our job.

Guardiola has lost just three times against Mourinho sides
Guardiola has lost just three times against Mourinho sides

« I have respect for my colleagues, I try to have a good relationship with them, and of course they want to win, and sometimes you make actions in the game in the moment and I understand that.

« I come here to be coach of Manchester City and train these players, that’s the reason I am here.

Man Utd vs Man City

September 10, 2016, 11:30am

« Tomorrow is a derby at Old Trafford against one of the biggest teams in the world, we’re playing away. I see the players, [Eric] Bailly, [Daley] Blind, the goalkeeper, the full-backs, [Marouane] Fellaini, [Paul] Pogba, I see that.

« In these last days analysing United I was focused on Jose and their team, and from experience I know what he likes to do on the pitch, and when Mr Clattenburg decides to start the game we will be focused on the game, not my colleague. »

United won the last derby 1-0 at the Etihad last season
United won the last derby 1-0 at the Etihad last season

It will be Guardiola’s first taste of a Premier League derby, and by far City’s biggest test under his management,

The City boss is relishing the clash against the side the bookies believe are their main rivals for the Premier League title.

« [The atmosphere] should be good, fascinating, it’s a derby and I think United respect us, what City did in the last six or seven years. A good atmosphere, good talent on the pitch, and for England, for the world, it would be good.

« It’s a pleasure, we are lucky guys to be there in front of the millions and millions watching us. »

Guardiola says he cannot wait for his first Manchester derby
Guardiola says he cannot wait for his first Manchester derby

Asked if he will tell his players anything different before the game, Guardiola said: « I say be calm, more relaxed, not too much information. It’s the first time we’ve played against United and the players must know what to do, to know what’s going to happen.

« And after, just play, go for some instructions, and then the personality and character in the sense of being brave, not to be afraid, and to have the ball and play. »

Guardiola’s City have a 100 per cent record so far, and the 45-year-old is looking for a fourth straight domestic title as a manager.

Having played for both Guardiola Jose Mourinho during his career, Xabi Alonso speaks to Jamie Carragher about the tactics of each manager
Having played for both Guardiola Jose Mourinho during his career, Xabi Alonso speaks to Jamie Carragher about the tactics of each manager

Similarities between his team set-ups at Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have been noted so far, and Guardiola says the fundamentals of his style have been transferred.

« The fundamentals, the principal idea it’s the same between Barcelona, Bayern and here. What changes is the quality of players, » he added.

« The fundamentals, what I want, which is to take the ball, try to play as offensive as possible and dominate the game through the ball, is the same. I grew up with that, I was a player with that idea, and I am a coach with that idea. »

Source: www.skysports.com

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Football

Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches

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Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Pots announced for Final Draw

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With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

fifa.com

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« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »

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Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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