English Premiership

Man City taking rough with the smooth, says Danilo

Manchester City (Twitter)
Manchester City (Twitter)

Manchester - Manchester City defender Danilo says Pep Guardiola's players are learning how to handle opposition sides who attempt to stifle their creativity and rough them up as they close in on the Premier League title.

Guardiola's side were given a tough game by Championship side Cardiff City in the FA Cup on Sunday and although they won 2-0, their victory came at a cost.

The Premier League leaders are set to be without midfielder Leroy Sane for Wednesday's visit of West Bromwich Albion after he was left with an ankle injury following a tackle from Cardiff's Joe Bennett.

After their win against the Welsh side Guardiola reiterated his desire for the top-flight's best players to receive greater protection from referees.

Danilo believes City's quality is such that they have to expect certain teams will attempt to disrupt their attacking approach with negative tactics.

"To be honest we are used to that," said the Brazil international. "We are used to many teams who park the bus and stuff.

"We work hard on that during the week and try to find alternatives and try to score goals. If we score early goals it can help us a lot.

"Teams come against us with different styles, they can be physical, but we are learning from that because we face a lot of teams like that this season."

Germany international Sane will miss the clash with West Brom, with the extent of his injury set to be assessed by City's medical staff.

He could also be a doubt for the Premier League matches with Burnley and Leicester and City's Champions League last-16 first leg in Basel in mid-February but Danilo is optimistic his teammate will be back in action sooner rather than later.

"Hopefully it is not serious," he said. "Leroy is a strong lad and we are confident he will be with us soon. He is an important player for us and we need him for forthcoming games."

City are still without striker Gabriel Jesus, midfielder Fabian Delph and defender Benjamin Mendy, who are all out with knee injuries for the visit of the West Midlands club.

West Brom head for the Etihad Stadium in high spirits after their 3-2 FA Cup victory at Liverpool but with head coach Alan Pardew facing multiple injury problems.

Defender Kieran Gibbs and striker Hal Robson-Kanu both limped off at Anfield with hamstring strains, making them almost certain absentees against City.

Captain Jonny Evans, who remains the subject of transfer speculation, and midfielder Jake Livermore also ended the game struggling with muscle injuries, leaving them in doubt for the trip to Manchester.

But Pardew will have striker Salomon Rondon fresh after he did not play at Anfield, while fellow forward Jay Rodriguez has found form after a difficult first five months at The Hawthorns and scored twice on Merseyside.

"Salomon is playing the best football of his career I think," said Pardew. "So we have two strikers bang in form which is really good news for us because that's what we've been hoping for."

Sat 04 Jul 20 13:30 PM (SAST)
Norwich City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Carrow Road
Sat 04 Jul 20 16:00 PM (SAST)
Leicester City
Crystal Palace
King Power Stadium
Sat 04 Jul 20 16:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester United
AFC Bournemouth
Old Trafford
Thu 02 Jul 20
Manchester City 4
Liverpool 0
Thu 02 Jul 20
Sheffield United 3
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wed 01 Jul 20
West Ham United 3
Chelsea 2
1. Liverpool
2. Manchester City
3. Leicester City
4. Chelsea