Man City dominate PFA Premier League team of the year

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Manchester City have dominated the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Premier League team of the year, with five players named in the select XI.

Right-back Kyle Walker, centre-half Nicolas Otamendi and midfielders David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are all honoured, along with forward Sergio Aguero.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen and Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso complete the defence.

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen is also included, along with his Spurs team-mate Harry Kane, the England striker among three forwards in the side completed by Liverpool frontman Mohamed Salah, who has bagged 30 league goals so far this season.

There was, though, no recognition for any Burnley players, despite the Clarets enjoying a fine season and challenging Arsenal for sixth place, which could yet see them secure European qualification.

City duo De Bruyne and Silva are shortlisted for the PFA’s player of the year award, along with club-mate Leroy Sane after all three helped Pep Guardiola’s side win the Premier League.

Kane, Salah and De Gea are also nominated, with the winner set to be announced at the PFA’s annual awards ceremony in London on Sunday, April 22.

18 04 PFA EPL Team of the years (1)

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Tottenham's season won't be defined by FA Cup semi-final against Man United, says Mauricio Pochettino

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Mauricio Pochettino insists he was not thinking about Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United when he rested players for the Premier League draw with Brighton.

Spurs boss Pochettino made six changes to his starting XI at the Amex Stadium and then saw his team drop two points in their quest to secure Champions League qualification.

Despite the 1-1 draw, the north London club remain in a strong position to finish in the top four, eight points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea.

Tottenham now turn their attention to the weekend meeting with Jose Mourinho’s United at Wembley as they attempt to end a 10-year wait for silverware.

And Pochettino was adamant the important cup clash had no bearing on his team selection on Tuesday.

“I was thinking today and trying to win,” said Pochettino.

“Some players needed to rest, some players needed to stay on the bench and I think we have a strong squad.

“Everyone is ready to play and it was a moment to give some fresh legs to the team but we were thinking about trying to win.

“We tried to add to the team fresh legs to match them in the physical condition and I think the season is tough for some players that play a lot.

“But (I am) always thinking about trying to win today, not next Saturday.”

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Eden Hazard and other players that Manchester City missed out on

David Cooper 18/04/2018
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Eden Hazard was on Manchester City's radar

As Manchester City deservedly reclaimed the Premier League title, their success has shown how far they have come since being bought by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan way back in 2008.

Here we take a look at four players who snubbed the Etihad Stadium club before their rise.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

City scouts were keeping tabs on the young Dane who was just a teenager at Ajax but even the lure of playing in England’s top-flight did not interest him after an approach in 2010.

He subsequently made that move to Tottenham three years later where he has become a key player for the north London side.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League

XABI ALONSO

A man who was already plying his trade in the Premier League with Liverpool, when the Spaniard decided to leave Anfield, City came knocking.

But Alonso was not ready to accept any offer with his heart set on a move back to his homeland with Real Madrid.

Blackburn Rovers v Liverpool - Premier League

JOHN TERRY

The English defender was  a target for the Citizens which was no surprise considering he was one of the best centre-backs in the world.

He later admitted he used City’s interest to wrangle a a better contract out of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League

EDEN HAZARD

Having met with the player and his advisors, the club thought Eden Hazard was theirs in 2012.

Even Hazard’s agent John Bico was keen on the move to Manchester. But instead, they were frustrated with the Belgian signing for their rivals Chelsea instead.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

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