UK Missing Man City ingredient Guardiola could add before Champions League final last minute news
PremierLeague-News.Com- The Manchester City manager seems to have his team virtually sorted - but he could yet change it after a Ferran Torres statistic became evident.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Pep Guardiola appears to have had his Champions League final team mapped out in his head for weeks. The way the Manchester City manager has rotated his players, and the side he has picked whenever the stakes were high, has given everyone a clear indication, with left back and defensive midfielder the only seeming doubts. Ederson in goal, a back four of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ruben Dias and either Aleks Zinchenko or Joao Cancelo, a midfield of Fernandinho or Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva, and a forward three of Phil Foden, false nine Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez. The rest have had several chances to establish their claims for a place in the starting XI, but Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus seem to get further away with every game that goes by. But Ferran Torres has enhanced his own chances of, at the very least, making Guardiola think again. City have memorably reached the final, which takes place in Porto a week on Saturday, without a recognised striker - Sergio Aguero has been injured for most of it and has not recovered his old match sharpness since returning to full training, while Jesus’ goal return has not been high enough. Now a burst of seven goals in his last eight games has turned Torres from a fringe player into one who could add a rare missing ingredient to this City team. Read More Related Articles Forgotten Man City signing Marlos Moreno still dreaming of place in Pep Guardiola's squad Read More Related Articles Pep Guardiola dismisses myth about Man City and the Champions League The 21-year-old Spain international’s hat-trick in the 4-3 win at Newcastle on Friday has boosted that impressive recent goal tally, of course, but Torres tops the table of most prolific goalscorers for City this season. The Blues have been spoiled for a decade, with Sergio Aguero - the man with the best minutes-per-goal ratio in Premier Leaque history - spearheading their attack. The fact that City have managed to win the league and Carabao Cup, and reach the Champions League final without a player to come close to Aguero’s career record of a goal every 118 minutes, is remarkable in itself. They have done it by sharing the burden with Gundogan (15), Mahrez (13), Sterling (11), Torres (11) and Foden (10) all chipping in with double figures. Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United in action with Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City (Image: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images) That has meant City’s normally free-scoring nature has been curbed, with just 124 goals scored so far in the campaign, which pales alongside their English record of 169, from the 2017-18 season. They have lived with that due to the huge improvements in defence which, until they went to St James’ Park on Friday, meant they had to score no more than two goals in any game to win it.
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. Until then, City will have to make do with what they have - and Torres has the best minutes-per-goal ratio in the squad - in Premier League and Champions League.
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As well as a clinical hat-trick for Spain against Germany - which takes him to an eye-opening six goals in ten games for his country this season - Torres has scored every 149 minutes for the Blues. No-one comes close to that - the nearest are Gundogan (one every 191 minutes) and Mahrez (194). But Torres’ movement and positioning, as well as his finishing, mark him out as City’s best current goalscorer. Great strikers have a knack of knowing when to stand still, and that was evident with his second goal at Newcastle - as everyone else, attackers and defenders, hared into the box in anticipation of Jesus’ cross, Torres checked his run and waited before expertly volleying in the driven cross. His first was simply outrageous skill, and the third showed cat-like reflexes to get to the ball after Cancelo’s shot cannoned off a post. That performance alone is not enough to see him muscle his way into Guardiola’s team. But the prospect of playing Torres in the central three, between Foden and Mahrez, and using De Bruyne in a more conventional midfield role, must have crossed Guardiola’s mind. City could well have made easier work of reaching the final had they been able to field a natural goalscorer - the number of times they opened teams up, but had no one making the killer near-post runs, or applying deadly finishes, was not punished as their defence excelled. But in the final against a Chelsea side who have shown they can restrict and contain City in successive wins over the Blues, they will need to take any chances that come along. Torres is better equipped to do that than any of the rest.
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