UK John Stones' new position in Man City side vs Brighton boosts England chances last minute news
MetiNews.Com - The talking points as Manchester City beat Brighton in the Premier League thanks to Phil Foden's well-taken goal.
Breaking News ! New Stones position boosts England recall chances When Ruben Dias joined Manchester City at the start of the season, he was brought in to be the main right-sided centre-back, but the re-emergence of John Stones has shifted Dias over to the left of a central pair who are getting stronger with each game. They now have eight clean sheets, eight wins, one draw and one goal conceded in nine starts together. With Joao Cancelo reprising his midfield role against Brighton, this time it was Stones tasked with covering the right side of defence when the right-back ventured forward. For much of the game, Stones was effectively playing on the right of a back three, and it didn't faze him one bit. That is likely to be a development that further interests England boss Gareth Southgate, watching on at the Etihad, who will surely be eyeing a recall to the national squad for Stones in March. Southgate prefers a back three, but has not found a perfect centre-back combination since Stones fell out of form following the 2018 World Cup. Now, Stones has proven himself back to his best, and he showed against Brighton he can also solve a nagging problem for his country, doing his chances of playing in the Euros this summer no harm. Read More Related Articles Phil Foden makes his point to Pep Guardiola and City doubters in front of England manager on a foul night in Manchester Read More Related Articles Man City player ratings: Ruben Dias and John Stones team up again vs Brighton Undroppable Foden keeping Sterling on his toes From the first minute, substitute Raheem Sterling was starting his warm-up, itching to get on the pitch in his second game out of the starting XI. Now Sterling has a new challenge, with Phil Foden proving undroppable in his current form. And Foden has managed to make Sterling's position his own, starting his fifth game out of the last six, and two consecutive Premier League games for the first time since the opening two games. That comes after starting 10 of City's first 21 games, and only four in the league. Foden's eighth goal of the season saw him move to be City's top scorer this season, and he deserves credit for locking down Sterling's left wing position since the new year, forcing Sterling to move in the centre or on the right. As long as he keeps putting in match-winning performances, Foden is making it difficult for Guardiola to ignore him. Man City vs Brighton: In pictures View gallery Read More Related Articles Man City 1-0 Brighton LIVE highlights and reaction as Phil Foden wins it for Blues De Bruyne making more Premier League history With his ninth assist of the season for Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne overtook Thierry Henry's all-time number of Premier League assists as he moved to 75 overall. He's now just one short of Teddy Sheringham and a place in the top ten of assisters in the top flight since 1992.
. The Belgian leads the way in the top ten list in terms of assists and goal involvements per game, and has rightfully cemented himself among the league's best creative players. You would feel he's not done climbing the list, with four more assists needed to catch David Beckham in ninth and only 36 more to go second. A fourth false nine in as many games Against Chelsea, City played Kevin De Bruyne as their false nine. Against Manchester United, it was Riyad Mahrez through the middle. And against Birmingham, it was Raheem Sterling (with a bit of help from Phil Foden) as the false nine. Now it was the turn of Pep Guardiola's original false nine, Bernardo Silva, to be City's focal point in attack, as Guardiola has developed a system where one of five players could be the central attacker. Throughout the game, there was rotation among that front five to keep Brighton guessing, and although some play would have benefitted from a natural striker getting on the end of balls into the box, Guardiola has finally worked out how to play without a striker. For Bernardo, after playing as a defensive midfielder, central midfielder and winger in the last three games, he further displayed his versatility and importance to Guardiola.
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What it means for the league Raheem Sterling's late penalty miss was ultimately inconsequential to the final result, as City held off a spirited Brighton side to win another game and extend the unbeaten run to 14. It was a crucial three points, that took City into the top four, but the penalty miss - and other good opportunities that went begging - might prove a missed opportunity. Of City, Man United, Liverpool and Spurs, the Blues have the third best goal difference. In a season where every goal and every point could be decisive, City could do with using their next five fixtures against bottom half or mid-table sides to boost their goal difference before taking on Liverpool and Spurs in February. City could go above Liverpool if they win their game in hand, and are four behind United having played a game more. With those two sides meeting at the weekend, City will be watching carefully.