Jamie Carragher: 'David Silva is Manchester City's best ever player'

Rice: We were unlucky not to beat Man City

Rice: We were unlucky not to beat Man City

And to make matters worse for the red half of Manchester, Jose Mourinho has a few selection headaches ahead of the match.

After late victories against Huddersfield Town and Southampton, Silva scored with seven minutes on the clock for a City side who, in cantering to an eight-point lead, are showing all the hallmarks of champions-elect.

And their mutual respect could lead to Sarri being handed a favour by Pep, with Napoli desperately needing City to win to have any chance of advancing to the next stage of the Champions League.

The Catalan regularly bemoans the football calendar and he has earmarked this current period, which for him started after the most recent international break and will end after City host Watford on January 2, as a crucial juncture in the season.

The usual intensity had been missing from City in the opening half and no doubt Guardiola had some strong words at half-time.

Even so, his starting line up was worth upwards of £280 million - while it also included two of their academy players - Phil Foden and Tosin Adarabioyo.

City finally threatened when teenage substitute Brahim Diaz scampered down the left only for his cross to be touched onto the post by Jesus.

"Our opponents have all these issues", Mourinho told BT Sport.

Funnily enough Leicester are now above The Saints in the table, and the issues with finishing that cost Puel during his time there still remain. The good news for Shakhtar is that they can replace Taison with Viktor Kovalenko, a really talented young midfielder who just can't get into the team because Taison, Bernard and Marlos are so good.

The midfielder was torn from warming the bench and whenever he tried to reach Guardiola he did not get a clear answer.

If Napoli's game against Inter was just as important as their game with City, how important is City's dead rubber against Shakhtar, with United coming up on Sunday?

But first comes United's final Champions League group game against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford, where United need a point to be certain of progressing as group winners.

But it was noticeable that Guardiola chose to take off Sane and Fernandinho - two of the players most likely to start against United. He is good at what he does, and he is a victor, simple as that.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, revealed after his sides 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday that Eden Hazard is enjoying the extra freedom that his new central role allows him.

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