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Cancelo Pushing For City Debut

Cancelo Pushing For City Debut

Joao Cancelo could make his Manchester City debut this Sunday at Bournemouth with injury concerns still surrounding left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko. Zinchenko picked up a knock during the final few minutes of last weekend’s 2-2 home draw with Tottenham Hotspur. The Ukraine star initially stated he had gone down with cramp but he was still complaining of some discomfort when he trained Tuesday morning.

First-choice left-back Benjamin Mendy is injured and isn’t expected to return to action until after next month’s international break and City boss Pep Guardiola won’t take any unnecessary risks with Zinchenko.

Portugal international Cancelo is primarily a right-back but is comfortable playing on the left side of the defence. Cancelo arrived earlier this month from Juventus for £60million and has been an unused substitute in both of City’s Premier League games so far, a 5-0 win at West Ham and the frustrating stalemate with potential title rivals Spurs.

The 25-year-old is known for his attacking prowess and has caught up with the rest of the City squad after a solid fortnight’s training. Cancelo will be desperate to make an impression if given the chance on Sunday as he has been forced to watch right-back Kyle Walker respond to his arrival with impressive showings against West Ham United and Spurs.

The full-back, who has been capped 14 times by Portugal, moved to the Etihad Stadium after just one season with Juventus, where he made 34 appearances in all competitions as the Turin giants claimed yet another Serie A title. Cancelo spent the previous season on loan at Inter Milan from Valencia after starting his career with Lisbon club Benfica in his homeland.

Although Cancelo is comfortable at left-back he will be keen to make the right-back role his own going forward but faces a real battle with Walker for that spot in Guardiola’s starting XI. Walker came in for criticism at times last term but has been in fine form this season and also produced a fine display in the Community Shield win over Liverpool earlier this month.

City go into the next round of Premier League fixtures in third spot in the Premier League table and are two points behind Liverpool and Arsenal. Guardiola’s men will be able to close the gap on at least one of the sides above them this weekend if they see off the Cherries, as the Reds and the Gunners meet at Anfield in the late kick off on Saturday.

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