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Manchester City

David Silva deserves more recognition as Manchester City's main magician

David Silva has signed a new five-year contract with Manchester City, committing his future to the Premier League champions until 2019.

Shaun Wright-Phillips isn't exactly renowned as an authority on Arthurian legend. But, taken aback by the sorcery of one of his Manchester City colleagues, he christened him "Merlin." The nickname, which stems from the wizard at the mythical King Arthur's court, is probably the lasting legacy of Wright-Phillips' second spell at City.

"Merlin the magician" -- otherwise known as David Silva -- has a range of tricks. He can thread a pass through the eye of a needle. He has an uncanny understanding...

 By Simon Curtis

A novel idea to solve Manchester City's striker crisis: Play without a striker

Sergio Aguero's injury has left Manchester City with a problem in attack ahead of the busy Christmas period.

As Manchester City head into a hectic run of fixtures over Christmas with no strikers available, conjecture mounts as to what they will do about it. With precious little on offer until the transfer window opens, City have little time to prepare their strategy before the games come thick and fast.

While my colleague David Mooney has put forward the unlikely credentials of Scott Sinclair, it's fair to say Manuel Pellegrini is unlikely to put his faith in the forgotten man.

In all probability, Pellegrini...

 By David Mooney

Forgotten man Scott Sinclair could be worth a gamble at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was left to rue injuries to captain Vincent Kompany and Edin Dzeko, adding a sour note to their 1-0 win at Leicester in the Premier League.

In the aftermath of Manchester City's 1-0 victory over Leicester last Saturday, boss Manuel Pellegrini didn't face too many questions about the performance or the game itself. In fact, in his postmatch news conference, discussion of the fixture took up something in the region of one or two minutes and nothing more.

It was pretty much a sideshow to the bigger issue that faces the Blues ahead of one of the busiest periods of the season.

After Edin Dzeko limped out of the warm-up, the manager was left...

 By Simon Curtis

Manchester City's problems and reasons for festive cheer

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Stuart Holden examine Manchester City's chances of getting revenge against Barcelona in their Round of 16 Champions League tie.

With the enticing prospect of a two-game rematch with "old foes" Barcelona in the Champions League to look forward to, Blues fans can now start the run-up to the New Year in earnest.

There are a host of Premier League points on offer during the Christmas period, so what positives can City take from the season so far? And what might put a spanner in the works before the dreams of the fans can be realised?

As usual -- and entirely understandable if you follow Manchester City -- we start with the problems:


 By David Mooney

Manchester City's deja vu UCL campaign could end differently

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Stuart Holden examine Manchester City's chances of getting revenge against Barcelona in their Round of 16 Champions League tie.

Manchester City fans must be wondering what their side has to do to get a bit of variety in the Champions League. Thanks to Monday's draw of Barcelona for the last-16 knockout stage, City will have faced three of the four teams they played in the competition last season, after an eerily similar group (Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow) and an identical last-16 tie (Barca). In that regard, Manuel Pellegrini's side have been bang out of luck; for the fans, it would be nice to make some different trips from...

Champions League round-of-16 draw pits familiar foes against one another

The ESPN FC panel discuss which teams can be considered Champions League favourites and whether Mourinho would rather win the Premier League or the Champions League.

It is a remarkable that, for a competition that now hasn't seen a repeat winner for 25 years, we still see so much repetition in the Champions League knockout rounds.

This year's last-16 draw features three ties that took place last season alone, as well as a restaging of the 1997 final. There also are similar features: Real Madrid got an easy draw, Bayern Munich should waltz through and it's difficult to escape the feeling that we're going to see the ongoing trend of all the teams who were first...