The unsung heroes for Manchester City this season?

Manchester City has the chance to create history this season. They remain firmly involved in the Premier League title race with Arsenal. Domestic and continental cup glory is also on the cards. The FA Cup would represent an excellent prize, but the UEFA Champions League is the form of glory they truly crave. City’s impressive season so far has been largely helped by prolific goalscorers and star playmakers such as Kevin de Bruyne. But a number of players have played key roles while receiving fewer plaudits compared to City’s leading figures.

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish joined Pep Guardiola’s side in the summer of 2021 for a huge fee of around £100 million. There was huge pressure to perform in his debut season due to the enormous fee paid for the former Aston Villa man. The English international failed to live up to expectations in the 2021/22 season – he managed just three goals and three assists across the league campaign. At times, Grealish seemed to play with a fear of losing possession. He did not often display his typical trait of dribbling against defences relentlessly in order to create opportunities.

This season the skilful winger has been vital in City’s title pursuit. Breaking down low-block defences and drawing fouls is his speciality. Grealish is a tough player to tackle, so opponents often resort to fouling him, which can lead to yellow cards and dangerous free-kick opportunities. He helps manipulate the fine margins in games which could help in regard to the overall title picture.

Grealish is also one of the most fouled players in the league and his participation in Premier League games often influences tipsters into betting on the opposition receiving yellow cards. The best betting tipsters for the Premier League this season target areas such as this as well as keeping an eye on the bigger picture to ensure they provide the best value possible. Sites such as Sports Betting Portfolio offer experts on a range of markets, such as Chris who specialises in card-related betting markets and he offers an average monthly profit of 10.2 units per month.

Nathan Ake

This season Nathan Ake has arguably been the star of Guardiola’s backline. Whether being deployed as a centre-back or operating in the modern inverted fullback role, he has been nothing short of spectacular. In terms of his defensive work, he has rarely let attackers beyond him. His work in the fullback role is what has been most impressive this season. The Dutchman has played a vital role in City’s buildup in helping dominate possession and maintain pressure from deep. He tucks in as part of a defensive midfield double pivot while City has possession. There he has also been a strong barrier to prevent attacks from penetrating the team’s defence. 

Guardiola’s City may well go on to complete a famous treble this season and certain starmen will claim the headlines. But it should not go under the radar how crucial some of the lesser-praised players have been this term. They have laid the foundations so that the likes of de Bruyne are afforded the platform to decide the outcome of games with their quality. 

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