Manchester City made no mistake in picking up another three points in their latest Premier League outing away at Brighton & Hove Albion with a 4-1 victory.
Next up for Pep Guardiola’s side is a Carabao Cup clash against fellow Premier League side West Ham United in midweek as they try and secure the trophy they’ve won four times on the bounce in recent years.
One player who came off the bench against Brighton and managed to get on the scoresheet that we feel should be in the starting XI to face West Ham is 30-year-old winger Riyad Mahrez.
So far this season, Mahrez has made 12 appearances for City across all competitions in which he has managed to rack up seven goals and two assists.
In the Premier League, Mahrez has only started two out of the seven league games he’s played in but has managed to score a goal every 127 minutes, showing he is a useful figure for Guardiola when called upon, which is why we feel he should start against West Ham.
In addition to this, the winger, who is currently valued at £37.8m according to Transfermarkt, has racked up an average of 1.7 shots per game, 1.1 key passes per game and an average of 90% accurate passes per game, showing just how brilliant he is for the side when he’s on it.
City signed Mahrez back in the 2018 summer transfer window from fellow Premier League side Leicester City for a reported fee of £60m. Since then, the Algerian has made a total of 154 appearances for the Manchester club across all competitions, managing to score 46 goals and providing 39 assists in the process. As a result, he’s been described as a player of “special quality” by his manager.
Looking ahead to the West Ham game, given how Mahrez has started all three of their Champions League matches and their previous Carabao Cup match against Wycombe Wanderers, it seems as though Guardiola trusts Mahrez to do the job for the side outside of the Premier League, even though has shown he’s capable of doing it in the top-flight as well.
Moving forward, we feel that if Mahrez starts against David Moyes’ side, he would give them a great chance of winning as he has shown he can be a game-changer for the club this season.