Unique Role of Joao Cancelo at Man City

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Joao Cancelo of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Etihad Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola explained the rationale behind the tactics adopted at Anfield Stadium against Liverpool when speaking after the match. Pep said his team had to play with a rather slow rhythm, with more passes than usual because of Liverpool’s antecedence.

The tactics worked, aside from the spot-kick, the statistics revealed that the Reds had not created so few in a home match in the Premier League either this season or last campaign. City’s 4-1 loss all but ends the hopes of Jurgen Klopp’s men of retaining the Premier League title as best real money online casino tabled odds out for the fans to make their predictions for the potential title winners.

City star Joao Cancelo has been an important factor in the success. Indeed, Cancelo has become fundamental to Pep’s thinking that he was pulled out only after the hour mark in the last match against Burnley having been completely rested for the win against Sheffield United before. Guardiola wanted Cancelo fresh for the all-important Premier League clash with Liverpool.

Without a doubt, Cancelo’s deployment has been extremely crucial to City’s improvement this season. Cancelo’s ability to drift inside from full-back position has helped City to maintain full control of the ball while making sure his side is in a more stable shape defensively when they lose possession.

Although this is not the expansive game with which Pep Guardiola is associated, the fact he has been able to create something unique when moving infield has handed the side the chance to stay potent in possession, even in the absence of star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

Former Premier League star and Sky Sports pundit, Jamie Carragher has pointed out that Cancelo’s positioning has helped to unleash star man IlkayGundogan.

Cancelo often stayed deeper against Liverpool to protect City on those transitions, guess that was the instruction of Pep Guardiola. But it was still Cancelo’spenetrative pass to IlkayGundogan that set his team on their way for the first goal.

Fans of the club needed a few longer to convince. The defender joined City in the summer of 2019 as the game’s most expensive right-back in history, valued at £60million.

The right-back only began four matches in the Premier League before the turn of the year in his debut campaign at Etihad Stadium. The rumor about his future quickly followed. A defender who had spent the last three seasons at La Liga side Valencia, Serie A giants inter Milan and Juventus was still in search of a home. Faced with one other decision, the defender opted to fight hard for his place in the team with best New Zealand online casinos backing the player for a win.

The City defender has had a number of tactical details to take in this campaign. Against Manchester United at Old Trafford, the right-back was played at left-back. Recently at the Hawthorns, he played in the central position, often camped in the opposition half, at Anfield Stadium he sat deeper.

The passing networks at City in the recent victory against Burnley show how the defender has become central to City’s build-up play, collecting the ball from those playing behind him, beside him, and in front of him. He made 85 touches in only 64 minutes against Burnley at Turf Moor. Without a doubt, Cancelo’s sheer creativity differentiates him from other full-backs that have moved into midfield. 

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