Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Manchester City: Pep should unleash Cancelo

Manchester City host Premier League strugglers Everton on Saturday and Pep Guardiola could put the nail in Frank Lampard’s coffin by unleashing Joao Cancelo.

The versatile defender has been rested in both of City’s return fixtures following the World Cup break, as a result of Portugal reaching the quarter-finals in Qatar before their surprise defeat against Morocco.

Rico Lewis has filled in at right-back in the absence of Kyle Walker and done an admirable job, while Nathan Ake has covered at left-back, but Guardiola should be free to select his more dangerous options in defence against the Toffees.

Starting Cancelo, on either side, provides yet another area of creative quality in this world-class side and it could be the difference against a side who will no doubt come to the Etihad and do everything they can to waste time and escape with a point.

The former Juventus man ranks top for the most average dribbles per game in City’s side, and getting him one-on-one with Everton’s defenders could prove vital in finding a way past the Merseyside outfit.

1 of 10
Pep Guardiola in action for celebrating Manchester City win

First up in this Man City 2022 quiz, Pep's team kicked off the year with a vital last-gasp win over Arsenal at the Emirates, but who scored the winner?

According to WhoScored, only six players in Guardiola’s squad have performed better in the Premier League this season, which emphasises just how impressive the 28-year-old has been once again, and he deserves to reclaim his starting spot, despite Lewis’ impressive recent cameos.

From Everton’s perspective, another loss after last weekend’s last-gasp defeat to fellow relegation candidates Wolves would surely edge Lampard closer to the sack at Goodison Park, and starting a player of Cancelo’s quality in the back four could be the catalyst for another comfortable City win against the Toffees.

Nigel De Jong was full of praise for the Portugal international in 2021, writing:

“Can we take a moment and talk about Cancelo’s recent performances? Fair to say he’s becoming one of the best full backs in the world.  Underrated.”

The former Valencia man is certainly recognised as one of the best in his position in the Premier League, as he is also defensively sound as well as offensively proficient, ranking first and second in City’s squad for average tackles and interceptions in the top flight this season.

It is clear that he is an important member of Guardiola’s squad and therefore he should earn a start on Saturday afternoon, as if he can help unlock Everton’s defence from deep, it could be curtains for Lampard at Goodison Park.