Manchester City latest: Messi quotes spark hope; Kompany lays down challenge

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from the Etihad…

Manchester City prepare to face Fulham this weekend knowing that a victory could take them as high as first in the Premier League table – if Liverpool fall short against Cardiff City.

With Sergio Aguero injured, Edin Dzeko could maintain his place in the Blues’ starting line-up after his midweek brace helped them into the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Their opponents Fulham could be without Fernando Amorebieta, along with Brede Hangeland and Hugo Rodallega.

Having well and truly proved they are devastating at home, it is time for City to prove they can be just as dominant away. And speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Vincent Kompany has urged his teammates to prove how good they are over the festive period.

Nothing is won in December but a lot can be lost in December,” the Belgian said.

This is my sixth season in the Premier League and every time this has been the period when you start realising which teams might go on and win it and which teams aren’t maybe the real deal.”

The Blues have the ability to build quite the platform for success in the coming weeks, but their home form will only get them so far.

City’s last league game was the 6-3 dismantling of Arsenal, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has somehow managed to take that match as proof his side can win the title.

We have shown that we can be dangerous against anybody,” he told the Telegraph, although scoring half the amount of goals as your opponent will always, quite obviously, lead to defeat.

And finally, the Manchester Evening News reports some possible good news for City from Spain, with reported target Lionel Messi criticising a Barcelona director.

Javier Faus caused headlines when he said the La Liga champions had no reason to discuss a new contract with Messi – a player he referred to as “this gentleman”. But now the Argentine has had his say, telling radio station RAC1, “Senior Faus is someone who doesn’t know anything about football and wants to manage Barcelona like a business, which it is not.”

It may still be fanciful in the extreme to suggest Messi could be on his way to the Etihad, but stories like this will in no way quell the rumours.

image: © Aitor Escauriaza

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