Bluemoon-MCFC Article Feeds 'I Fell off a Horse!' - new Bluemoon Podcast online now Fri, 18 Sep 2020 08:31:43 GMT 1 Are City ready for the new season? Plus a Wolves podcaster previews Monday night This week:
- Are City ready for the new season after such a short break?
- Have City done enough in the transfer market to solve last year's issues?
- Journalist and Barcelona fan Rafael Hernandez explains the Messi saga
- Dave Azzopardi from Talking Wolves discusses their feelings ahead of Monday
- ESPN's VAR expert explains how the video referees will be used differently

Season 13, Episode 2: I Fell off a Horse!
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If you back the show by as little as $2 per month, you'll be able to subscribe to the bonus show each week - which is at least 15 minutes of extra discussion on varying City topics.

This week: The panel discuss City's recent history with Wolves in close meetings throughout the last 20 years, in this near-30-minute special.

Kevin De Bruyne named as 2020 PFA Player of the Year Wed, 09 Sep 2020 16:41:03 GMT 1 Belgian midfielder describes award as "a big honour" Kevin De Bruyne has been named as the PFA Player of the Year for the 2020/21 season.

The Belgian international saw off competition from the likes of Sadio Mane, Danny Ings and Nick Pope to win the award.

De Bruyne scored 13 goals along with a record-equalling 20 assists during an impressive campaign from the midfielder.

“It is a big honour,” he said at the virtual ceremony.

“To be voted by your colleagues, your competitors from other teams who we play against on the field, is amazing.

“It is maybe strange that I’m the first one at City, with all the good players who played there before and are still playing, but it is nice to represent the Club.

“I think it is [the ultimate honour] because you compete against them [fellow professionals].

“They want to win the trophies; they want to be the best. It is everybody voting, not a few players, so that means you have done really well in the season.”

Manager Pep Guardiola led the congratulations: “To win this award is an outstanding achievement, and Kevin is so deserving of it.

“To be recognised by other players is the most that any footballer can ask for, because they understand not only what it is to compete against you, but also the level of commitment it takes to play at the very top.

“There have been many great players in this club’s history, especially over the last decade working with Roberto, Manuel and myself.

"We have won many titles, but Kevin is the first to receive this prestigious award. This recognition is also a tribute to all the fantastic players who have come before him.

“We are so proud of Kevin and this will only strengthen what he means to this club and our fans. From all the players, coaches and staff at Manchester City, I would like to congratulate him.”

Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte test positive for Covid-19 Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:48:23 GMT 1 Both players to self-isolate for 10 days, but should be avilable for season opener at Molineux Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte have tested positive for Covid-19, the club have confirmed.

Both players will now have to self-isolate for ten days, in line with government and Premier League rules, but should be available for selection for City's opening game at Molineux on September 21st.

A statement on the club website read:

"Manchester City FC can confirm that Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte have tested positive for Covid-19.

Both players are currently observing a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine. Neither is displaying symptoms of the virus.

Everyone at the Club wishes Riyad and Aymeric a speedy recovery ahead of their return to training and the new season."

City to face either Bournemouth or Crystal Palace in Carabao Cup third round Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:43:23 GMT 1 Pep Guardiola's side looking to win fourth successive League Cup City will face either Bournemouth or Crystal Palace in the third round of the Carabao Cup after the draw yesterday.

The Blues have a bye for the second round due to their involvement in European competition, so will face the winners of the clash at The Etihad.

Pep Guardiola will be looking to win a fourth successive League Cup with the club, which would equal the record set by Liverpool between 1981-84.

Second-round ties will be played on the week commencing September 14, with third-round matches the following week.

Third round draw in full:

Bradford City/Lincoln City v Liverpool
Bristol City/Northampton Town v Burton Albion/Aston Villa
Morecambe/Oldham v Newcastle Utd/Blackburn Rovers
Reading/Luton Town v Manchester Utd
Derby County/Preston North End v Brighton/Portsmouth
Ipswich Town/Fulham v Rochdale/Sheffield Wednesday
Manchester City v Bournemouth/Crystal Palace
West Ham Utd/Charlton Athletic v Leeds Utd/Hull City
Millwall/Cheltenham Town v Burnley/Sheffield Utd
Chelsea v Middlesbrough/Barnsley
Wolves/Stoke City v Gillingham/Coventry City
Leicester City v Arsenal
West Brom/Harrogate Town v Southampton/Brentford
Newport County/Cambridge Utd v Oxford Utd/Watford
Fleetwood Town/Port Vale v Everton/Salford City
Leyton Orient/Plymouth Argyle v Tottenham

City Football Group acquire French side Troyes Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:52:42 GMT 1 Ligue 2 team become tenth club under CFG umbrella City Football Group (CFG) have acquired Ligue 2 side Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne (ESTAC), it was announced today. The French team, who ended the 2019/20 season in fourth place in Ligue 2, become the 10th club under the CFG umbrella.

Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive of City Football Group, said:

“We have had an interest in French football for some time and have long admired ESTAC, so we are delighted to have completed the acquisition of our tenth club and have a permanent presence in France. This is a milestone for City Football Group and demonstrates how our model continues to adapt and grow in a relatively short space of time.

“At City Football Group, our objective remains to play beautiful football, identify and develop grassroots talent and have a permanent presence in the world’s football centres. There is no doubt that France is one of the top football countries in the world and we are proud to be part of that community. We look forward to getting to know our new home and the Club’s fans and working together to create a bright future for ESTAC. We would also like to thank Mr Masoni for all his contributions to the Club”.

Outgoing Chairman Daniel Masoni added:

“I am happy that we were able to come to an agreement with the City Football Group and its representatives, in conditions that allow the club to assure a certain continuity in its values which have given ESTAC strength in recent years, and notably the continued desire to work with the local economy. I thank also the minority share holders who majorly contributed to allowing this deal to come to pass. That such an organisation is interested in ESTAC is a source of pride, personally, but also collectively, for all collaborators who have been working with me for several years.”

“I am proud to have carried the club for the last 11 years, which were very intense, both personally and professionally. I am handing over a club today that is well anchored in the professional world, recognised by its peers in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 with a much greater sporting and financial capacity than what it had when the club was relegated to the 3rd division.”

“City Football Group correspond with the profile of investor that I wanted, to assure that the club would undergo a significant evolution, and benefit from healthy and solid bases, both financially and structurally. The profile of the buyer will allow us to continue to guarantee the values that breathe life into the club and in the organisation, with confidence in the people already in place.”

Phil Foden named in England squad for Nations League games Tue, 25 Aug 2020 15:13:01 GMT 1 Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling also called up by Gareth Southgate Phil Foden has been named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark. Kyle Walker has also been recalled following an 18-month absence, whilst Raheem Sterling completes a trio of City players called up.

Foden is joined in a youthful looking squad by Mason Mount and Mason Greenwood, and manager Southgate has challenged the youngsters to break into England's Euro 2021 team:

"Obviously they've been involved with England in the junior teams so for them they're used to coming here, used to being part of an England team. This is a step up for them but they're both more than capable.

"They've shown playing in big matches, big clubs that they're talented boys. Both hugely exciting players. I think they'll be part of England's future. This is up to them in the end. We give them the opportunity for them to go and take it forward.

"But there's no reason they can't be involved with England for a long time to come. You're always questioning with those young players what's the right time to move them up. We felt now is a good time.

"We're a year away from the European Championship, let's see if they can start to break into that team, that squad. And it gives us great competition for places, they're realistic challengers."

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Harry Winks

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Mason Greenwood, Danny Ings, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling

City start 2020/21 campaign with trip to Molineux Tue, 25 Aug 2020 12:05:08 GMT 1 Blues face difficult start to the new season City will visit Wolverhampton Wanders for their opening game of the 2020/21 season. The Blues were scheduled to play Aston Villa at home, but have been afforded an extra week to recover after their European exertions.

The Blues also face Leicester City (h), Leeds (a) and Arsenal (h) in what appears to be a difficult start to the new campaign.

Defending champions Liverpool head to the Etihad on 7th November, with the reverse fixture scheduled for 6th February 2021.

The first Manchester derby will be played at Old Trafford on 12th December, with United visiting the Etihad on 6th March 2021.

The full fixture list can be viewed here.

Kevin de Bruyne named as Premier League Player of the Season Mon, 17 Aug 2020 09:59:07 GMT 1 Midfielder scored 13 goals and notched 20 assists during impressive campaign Kevin de Bruyne has been named as the Premier League 2019/20 Player of the Season. The Belgian midfielder scored 13 goals and notched 20 assists during an impressive campaign, as the Blues won the Carabao Cup and finished second in the league.

The 29-year old saw off competition from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy and Nick Pope to win the award.

City manager Pep Guardiola led the tributes to de Bruyne:

“Kevin is one of the best players I have ever seen in my life. He can do everything, absolutely everything,” the City boss asserted.

“He has something unique. He can run, the vision he has… right now he is the best.

“He is a top, top quality player and we are so proud and happy that he is with us.

“Kevin is so professional, and he loves to play football and he lives for that.

“He’s able to see something special and you have the spaces no-one else can see but even with that he’s still improving and improving.”

Manchester City vs Lyon match preview: Aguero misses out through injury Sat, 15 Aug 2020 10:40:07 GMT 4 Argentinian striker continues recovery in Barcelona after knee surgery Manchester City vs Lyon

Competition: UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final

Date: 8.00pm, Saturday 15th August, 2020

Venue: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon

Referee: Danny Makkelie Assistants: M Diks, H Steegstra Fourth Official: T Sidiropoulos

Odds: City 1/4, Draw 11/2, Lyon 11/1. You can also bet in-play with 888 Sport live betting.

TV: BT Sport

Manchester City

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Squad (from): Bravo, Carson, Ederson, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, Otamendi, Stones, Walker, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Foden, Gundogan, Mahrez, Rodri, B Silva, D Silva, Sterling, Jesus

Injured: Aguero

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Form guide: WLWWW


Manager: Rudi Garcia

Squad (from): Lopes, Tatarusanu, Racioppi, Anderson, Denayer, Marcelo, Kone, Marcal, Dubois, Rafael, Tete, Mendes, Aouar, Guimares, Adelaide, Caqueret, Lucas, Cherki, Depay, Cornet, Traore, Soumare, Ekambi, Dembele, Kadewere

Injured: None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Form guide: WWLLL

City will be without leading scorer Sergio Aguero once again as they face Lyon in the last eight of the Champions League. The Argentinian striker has not recovered from injury, and is in Barcelona recupering after surgery on the knee meniscus problem he suffered in June. City had included him in their squad for the finals tournament, but it looks unlikely that he will play any part even if the Blues progress to the semi-finals.

“Sergio is still in Barcelona. If he was to come here, he would have to do a test,” Pep Guardiola revealed at Friday's press conference.

“He is still in Barcelona making progress with his recovery.”

Guardiola said he was "incredibly proud" of the players his team has prepeared for the clash against Lyon:

“I think it’s an important moment in our careers. I would prefer to be at home, but this is a special situation. It is comfortable, it is nice to be here. Hopefully we can do a good game and stay a few more days in this lovely country.

“After lockdown they have been incredibly focused. We accepted the deal to help our club go to the semi-final. The format is what it is. We adapted to the new protocol.

“Now we prepare for Lyon. Tomorrow is the time to be ourselves. I want to see my team be who they are, do everything with their soul and their minds and after that the football will dictate whether we deserve it or not.”

“I would like to tell you what is going to happen tomorrow, but I don’t know. But I am incredibly proud with the way we have behaved the last two or three weeks,” the boss asserted.

The "sudden death" knockout format of this year's competition, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, has presented Guardiola with a new challenge and City's manager believes that it leaves little margin for error.

“Anything can happen. It’s a different competition. It’s a knockout competition. It’s a final at every stage. We are ready to do our best performance to go through,”

“The pressure is always there, we try to do our best like the other teams. We saw how tight it was in the last two quarter-finals, tomorrow will not be an exception.

"We saw Lyon’s last games against PSG and Juventus. We know them quite well. They are incredibly organised and so aggressive. They are so fast up front, with quality in the wing backs.

"They are a top team. It’s the quarter finals - we cannot expect anything else. It is not going to be easy.

“It’s a final so it’s one game. We’ll try to avoid mistakes so they can’t punish us. The pressure is always there to do our best.

“In a knockout game anything can happen. It’s difficult to beat the big teams over two games, but in one game anything can happen.”

Lyon have no new injury concerns after Jason Denayer and Maxwel Cornet recovered from knocks, and manager Rudi Garcia expects to have a fully fit squad to select from:

"We hope to remove the injury doubts on Jason Denayer and Maxwel Cornet. Kenny Tete had an issue but I hope to have a complete squad tomorrow. We will take stock tonight, after the final training session."

Lyon beat City in the group stages of the competition in 2018, and Garcia believes that will give his side confidence ahead of tonight's tie:

"It helps us first and foremost from a mental perspective. We've already done it and it will be possible in a one-off game when everything is very different. It was wonderful what they did back then but this is a different tie, a knockout match ."

"I think the victory against Juventus needs to give us greater confidence. Of course, we do have greater desire – you get greater appetite once you begin eating. Manchester City are naturally favourites but the start of the Champions League quarter-finals has shown potentially the odds can be overturned. Based on the first two matches the outsiders might be able to overturn the odds."

"We have to make sure we get quality service into our strikers and make sure we are dangerous in the final third. We know we won't necessarily win a possession battle against Manchester City – it is in their DNA to hog possession – but we need to use it as best we can and win it back as best we can. We mustn't let their team play and individual talent cause us problems, but they’re a fearful side."

City drew their last game against Lyon 2-2, courtesy of goals from Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero. Overall City have won neither of the two games played against Lyon, with 1 draws and 1 defeat.

Predicted City line-up (4-3-3) : Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Jesus

Predicted Lyon line-up (3-5-2): Lopes, Denayer, Marcelo, Mrcal, Cormet, Guimares, Dubois, Caqueret, Aouar, Dembele, Depay

Score prediction: City 2 Lyon 1

'Hello Sexy' - new Bluemoon Podcast online now Fri, 14 Aug 2020 10:06:08 GMT 1 Have City 'grown up' in the Champions League? Plus - saying goodbye to David Silva This week:
- Have City 'grown up' in the #UCL?
- Looking in-depth at Sterling & Jesus displays against Madrid
- David Silva's City highlights
- Expert analysis of what to expect from Lyon from Get French Football News

Season 11, Episode 49: Hello Sexy
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It's currently free to sign up to our Patreon page and listen to the previous bonus shows - there'll be no new bonus shows until September, when we'll start charging again. All the details are here: