Mourinho: City have an 'unbelievable' squad
- 26 October 2013 09:13
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
There’s been much praise for City’s attacking options this week, and ahead of the Chelsea clash Jose Mourinho has added his name to the list of admirers.
The Stamford Bridge boss has suggested the pressure is on Manuel Pellegrini’s men to deliver the title back to the Etihad Stadium due to the strength of the squad.
He is quoted in the Guardian as saying: “They have an unbelievable squad of players. They have just won two matches away from home, at West Ham and in Moscow, neither easy places to win but they won there. They are a very good team, a very good team.
“In fact, they are two very good teams: one playing and another one on the bench or in the stands. A fantastic squad, fantastic players, a really good team.”
Meanwhile, Paul Merson has also pointed to City’s strengths and predicted that the Sky Blues will be lifting the Premier League trophy next May.
Providing analysis for Sky Sports, the former Arsenal man claims there isn’t much to choose between City and Chelsea for the match this weekend, but that strength in depth will be vital as the campaign wears on.
Merson predicts: “I think Manchester City are going to go and win the Premier League this year, as long as they avoid complacency. They've lost to both Cardiff and Villa, but when they've been asked to produce in big football matches like against Everton at home and against Manchester United they have hammered their opponents and played really well. When they have needed to get going they have and I don't expect them to be lacklustre on Super Sunday.
“I don't think there is much between these two teams - and I think Chelsea will be favourites on Sunday because they're at home - but the difference in the title race might be the strength of City's squad. Chelsea's options up front are Fernando Torres (who played well in midweek but can he do it consistently?), Samuel Eto'o (who scored against Cardiff, but isn't the player he was) and Demba Ba.
While it’s nice to see so much praise of City’s attacking options, it’s probably worth noting here that Jovetic has suffered an injury-hit start to his career in Manchester, so it’s not quite as simple as “can’t even get a game”.
Moving on, while Aguero, Negredo and David Silva have been hitting the headlines, another City player who deserves credit is Samir Nasri, and The Bleacher Report’s Rob Pollard has highlighted his contribution this season.
The Frenchman has caught the eye in a number of games, and has played a key role in the dynamism of the front men.
Pollard writes: “Fast-forward a few months and he’s been one of City’s best players this term. The touch and verve has returned. He wants the ball again and, when he gets it, he’s producing pieces of skill that see him beat a man and find a pass. He’s been excellent.
“Data provided by Squawka shows definitively that Nasri is more clinical in front of goal and is beating players with more consistency this season in the Premier League.
“His chance conversion rate stands at 40 percent this season (two goals from five shots), up from 10.5 percent last season (two goals from 19 shots).
“The sharpest rise comes in his ability to go past players. His take-on success rate stands at 73 percent in the opening eight games, a big improvement on his 57 percent last season, and a clear demonstration of the renewed confidence in his game.”
Good news ahead of a packed few weeks, starting with Chelsea tomorrow…
Tickets are still available for City v CSKA at the Etihad Stadium, which will go a long way to deciding the Sky Blues UCL group fate. They are priced from £33 for Adults and £17.50 for Under 16s. Purchase online here, or call 0161 444 1894 option 1, option 1, option 2 (tickets purchased over the telephone are subject to a £2.50 booking fee per ticket), or visit the Ticket Office located on the first floor of the Etihad Stadium City Store. For more details please click here.