Manchester City will not be holding a press conference before the Premier League fixture with West Ham United.
As the game was rearranged, City fulfilled their media requirements before the original fixture was due to take place, so Pep Guardiola will not be taking questions before the game.
Guardiola would surely have been asked about City's Champions League ban and expected appeal, but he will be glad for football to be returning after the winter break. UEFA ruled on Friday that City had been in 'serious breach' of Financial Fair Play and EFA Club Licensing regulations, with the club expected to appeal.
In terms of team news, Aleks Zinchenko is suspended and Raheem Sterling is sidelined with a hamstring injury. Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy and John Stones could all return, while Leroy Sane continues to step up his fitness.
Recap all the latest City news and rumours.
Bayern 'still keen on Sane' but not on swap deal
A report in the Sun today claims Bayern Munich are still keen on signing Leroy Sane this summer, with City open to negotiating a swap deal with Serge Gnabry.
The report says Pep Guardiola has personally scouted Gnabry this season, and that a player-plus-cash deal could suit both parties.
However, Bild’s Christian Falk claims the idea of a swap deal is NOT on the table, for Gnabry or his teammate Kingsley Coman.
Pep Guardiola agent breaks silence after Man City Champions League ban
Pep Guardiola has no intention to leave Manchester City and will fulfill his contract with the Blues in the wake of the club’s ban from the Champions League, his agent has claimed.
UEFA have imposed a two-year ban from European competitions after deeming City to have “seriously breached” regulations regarding club licensing and sponsorship deals.
City have confirmed they will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and club executives are confident the ban will be overturned.
Read the full story here
Manchester City sponsors Puma issue statement after UEFA ban
Manchester City kit suppliers Puma say they are convinced the club will be cleared of wrongdoing when they appeal their two-year ban from UEFA competitions.
UEFA handed the ban to City last week for ‘serious breaches’ of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations, as well as failing to cooperate in the investigation by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB). The club were also fined €30m.
Immediately after UEFA announced their sanctions, City responded with a strong statement indicating they will appeal the ruling, which would see them banned from the Champions League and Europa League until 2022.
Read the full story here
David Moyes on facing Man City
The West Ham boss wants his side to show some invention in tomorrow’s game against City.
“It’s as big as it comes, isn’t it? We’ve got Manchester City and then Liverpool in the next two games so let’s not kid ourselves.
“But you have to play them twice, everyone has to play them twice.
“These are our two games the way the ball has come out and we get them together.
“We know they are hard, but then we will go and try to be difficult to play against, hard to beat, but in the same breath we know we’ve got to go there and try to pick up points as well so there’s a balance between both.”
Rafael Benitez explains the difference between Man City and Liverpool this season
Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has highlighted the difference between the two sides this season.
He wrote for The Athletic:
“When you analyse the statistics, the comparison between Liverpool and Manchester City is very clear.
“City have more goals, more expected goals, more shots and more passes than Liverpool, but Klopp’s side have greater accuracy, they create more chances at set-pieces and they have more passes into the box, including crosses and corners.
“They are stronger in defence in nearly all of the parameters, stronger in the air, in recoveries and duels.”
Leicester's Jonny Evans reacts to Man City's Champions League ban
Leicester defender Jonny Evans says the Foxes want to finish ahead of Man City regardless of their Champions League ban.
“For us, we’re trying to look forward, we’re trying to look above us.
“We’re looking at Man City themselves, the fact that we play them in our next game. It’s a big game for us in terms of the last game, away from home, we didn’t feel like we acquitted ourselves well. Now we’re at our place.
“We want to try to get above them in the league and as close to Liverpool as we can. We’re not looking behind us.
“Champions League football for us this year is a big incentive. And coming up against Man City, we want to beat them, it’s important we try to get ahead of them in the league.”
Yaya Toure explains why he's scared ahead of Real Madrid clash
Former Man City midfielder Yaya Toure has revealed he is a little bit scared ahead of City’s clash with Real Madrid.
The game is of added importance as City are facing the prospect of two years without Champions League football.
Toure told Omnisport:
“I wanted City to get Lyon or some club like that, but Real Madrid is going to be a tough game, a very, very tough game.
“But we will see - the first game is at the Bernabeu and then it is [at the] Etihad [Stadium].
“Real Madrid could knock us straight out. They could, they really could, because we expect Real Madrid to be in the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and now they face City.
“I’m a little scared to be honest.”
The biggest losers from Man City's bitter dispute with UEFA
A few days on from that explosive press release and the damage to the main players is yet to be determined.
Manchester City have come under assault from most angles but are still fighting and adamant that their name will be cleared; UEFA may have enjoyed their Valentine’s Day but took some blows from the reports of their first duel with the Blues in the Court of Arbitration for Sport and are under no illusions about the war that is coming when the sides reconvene.
Whatever happens to the two-year ban - be it reduced to a single year or wiped out entirely - doesn’t appear to matter as much as it might. Those standing resolutely on the City side have already decided that it is a “prejudicial process”; if they do not get the result they want and have been announcing for some time that they expect, it will be because the game is rigged against them.
Read the full story here
Referee confirmed for Leicester clash
Paul Tierney will referee Manchester City’s clash with Leicester on February 22, the Premier League have confirmed.
Leicester currently sit one point behind the Blues in the standings.
Full details of the referee appointments for the game:
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Constantine Hatzidakis.
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss.
VAR: David Coote.
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.
Samuel Eto'o backs Riyad Mahrez to win Ballon d'Or
Former Barcelona forward Samuel Eto’o believes Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez can win the Ballon d’Or.
The Algerian winger has been in fine form this season.
Eto’o told Al Araby as per Le Buteur:
“He is one of the great players in world football today.
“We are very likely to have it [Ballon d’Or] in our continent.
“I really hope that he will not only dream of being the best African player, but also the Ballon d’Or because he has all the qualities to be there.”
Goal of the day
City’s goal of the day is a long-ranger from Samir Nasri that set City on the way to three points that sealed the 2014 title.
Puma statement on City's UEFA ban
City sponsors Puma say they are fully confident the club will be cleared in their expected appeal to UEFA following the Champions League ban.
They said (via the FT):
“We fully trust the management of Manchester City and are convinced that these accusations will be cleared”.
City favourites to win Champions League
The Champions League returns tonight, and here are the latest odds for the overall winner (via Oddschecker).
Not only are City much preferred to last-16 opponents Real Madrid, they are favourites for the whole competition.
Wonder what UEFA think of that?
City could find Aguero situation tougher than most in UEFA fallout
Following Friday’s announcement that Manchester City have been banned from European football for two seasons, the rumour mill was sent into overdrive with constant speculation over who will stay and who will go this summer.
Pretty much every player in the squad has been the subject of transfer gossip. Real Madrid are reportedly plotting a nine-figure bid for Raheem Sterling, Bayern Munich do not need an invitation to talk about Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte are among the high-profile stars linked with possible exits.
However, perhaps the most pressing conundrum for City is whether they will be saying adios to Sergio Aguero sooner than anticipated or wanted.
Read the full story here.
Next six fixtures
City can win one trophy and take big steps towards two more in the next month:
West Ham team news
West Ham could welcome back Felipe Anderson from injury, David Moyes says, but tomorrow’s game vs City could be too soon for Andriy Yarmolenko.
Team news-wise, we are good. Hopefully we will have a few more back from injury and we are looking a bit stronger than we were certainly in recent weeks.
Felipe Anderson is back around training and he’s been on the pitch so he’s back closer to fitness and hopefully he will be close to being able to start. I’ve not actually decided yet if I am going to put him in the squad but I will look to see. He wasn’t in the squad when we were travelling up to Manchester a week or so ago. He’s had a few more days training and I will see how he is just before we go to Manchester.
Andriy Yarmolenko is still in a recovery process with his training. He’s back on the grass but doing better.
Moyes also said new signing Jarrod Bowen is settling in well, but could be eased into the Premier League after joining from Championship side Hull City.
U18 Premier League Cup final confirmed
City U18s have reached a second successive U18 Premier League Cup final, where they take on Stoke City.
City won the competition last season, and can lift the trophy again when they take on the Potters at the Academy Stadium on Tuesday, March 10 (7.45pm).
Triple training boost
Before the winter break, City had fitness concerns over Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane.
All three trained yesterday, so look like they will be in contention to play against West Ham tomorrow.
City fans choose six players to sell in summer transfer window
Over the weekend, we asked you whether you would keep or sell each City player in the summer transfer window.
The results show fans would be happy to see six players depart - four of those being defenders.
There are also six per cent of fans who WOULDN’T keep Phil Foden.
Read the full story here.
Moyes not too happy with West Ham preparation
City and West Ham both seemed keen to rearrange their postponed game as soon as possible - but that hasn’t stopped Hammers boss David Moyes from bemoaning the training time tomorrow’s game has cut into.
He must be forgetting the two weeks off West Ham have had...
“I’m more than confident [we will climb the table]. I think the players here are more than capable. I think we have got a good group.
“I think they are all fully aware of the situation we’re in and the improvement we need to make to make sure we’re not in the bottom three, and I’m sure come the end we will do.
“We have been in probably a month now, we are still finding our way around, we have had to play a lot of games, we’ve not had much time on the grass really because of playing and recovery.
“And I think this this week we were looking forward to having a week’s preparation and little bit of work with the players but obviously that’s been taken away with us with the game coming in much quicker.”
Eight City players in Lionesses squad
Lauren Hemp, Steph Houghton, Ellie Roebuck, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh and Ellen White are in the Lionesses squad for the SheBelieves Cup next month.
Women get away tie in the cup
City Women’s defence of the FA Cup takes them on to Leicester or Reading, after the impressive 10-0 win over Ipswich at the weekend.
Reminder - no Guardiola press conference today
City won’t be holding their pre-West Ham press conference today, because they already fulfilled their media duties before the original fixture.
So when will Guardiola be asked about City’s Champions League ban?
Guardiola and at least one player must give interviews to broadcasters at tomorrow’s game, before the manager will hold a post-match press conference.
Read the details here.
Yaya set for Brazil move
Yaya Toure looks like he is close to a move to Botafogo in Brazil.
That is according to GloboEsporte, who say the Botafogo football committee have approved the deal for Toure, 36, who had been playing in China for Qingdao Huanghai last season.
Botafogo will now open talks with Toure, the report says, but may require outside funding to cover his wages.
When Man City players and Pep Guardiola will be first asked about Champions League ban
The club have opted not to hold a pre-match press conference today.
Read why here .