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Ruben Dias says Man City want Messi to play against them

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Lionel Messi is an injury doubt for Paris Saint-Germain ahead of their Champions League group game with Manchester City this week.

Manchester City could be forgiven for secretly wanting Lionel Messi to miss their Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi, linked with a move to City over the last two years, moved to PSG on a free transfer over the summer after being blocked from extending his contract at Barcelona.

Given City’s links to Messi and also the Argentine’s history with Pep Guardiola, it felt inevitable that they would get drawn against PSG in the Champions League this season, and they are both paired together in Group A. City travel to Paris this week for the first meeting between the pair after the Blues recorded two wins in the semi-finals last year.

Over the summer, PSG have strengthened considerably, with Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarruma all arriving on free transfers.

However, Messi is an injury doubt for the clash after missing the Ligue 1 win over Montpellier this weekend, and faces a race against time to be fit to face City.

Despite the prospect of Messi being absent and potentially giving the visitors an advantage, Ruben Dias says City would prefer Messi to play on Tuesday.

Dias said: “Messi is a phenomenal player and as a professional, you want to play against all those sorts of names.

“But whether it’s Messi, [Kylian] Mbappe, Neymar or [Mauro] Icardi, PSG have amazing strength in depth and no matter who it is we face, it’ll be a tough test. Everyone is looking forward to this game for exactly that reason.

“They (PSG) have obviously strengthened a lot all over the pitch. The signings they have made this season have been fantastic and it will be a different challenge to the team we faced last year.

“But they have also been one of the strongest teams in Europe for a number of years now.

“The likes of Ramos and Messi will add to their winning mentality, but when we played last season, they already had Neymar, Mbappe and [Angel] Di Maria.”

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13 goals before 19 years old! Ansu Fati betters Messi’s stats

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Ansu Fati has not stopped breaking records since his emergence, both with Barcelona and with the Spanish national team, with numbers that better those of Leo Messi when he entered the professional scene.

Against Valencia he achieved another feat, becoming the Barcelona player with the most goals before the age of 19, with 13 strikes.

He is followed by Bojan Krkic, with 12, and Leo Messi, with seven. The young attacker managed seven goals in his debut season and four in the last campaign, of which he missed the majority due to injury.

His numbers are right up there with those of Messi as, at 18 years and 351 days old, Ansu has 15 goals for Barcelona while the Argentine, at the same age, had eight goals.

Ronald Koeman took Ansu off on 59 minutes due to his recent return to injury, but also because the Clasico is coming up this weekend and the teenager is already a pivotal player.

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Jurgen Klopp: Salah better than Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says, on current form, Mohamed Salah is the best player in the world after the Egyptian shone in the 5-0 win over Watford.

After scoring one of the most memorable goals of recent years in the draw with Manchester City two weeks ago, Salah was at it again at Vicarage Road, scoring a breathtaking effort and setting up two other goals in the 5-0 win over Watford.

It was Salah’s 10th goal of the season – he has scored in Liverpool’s last eight games.

Klopp was in no mood for dampening down the praise afforded to Salah, calling him the best player in the world.

He told BT Sport: “His performance was massive today. The pass for the first goal was great and the second goal was special. He is top. We all see it. Who is better than him? We don’t have to talk about what Messi and Ronaldo have done for world football and their dominance. But right now, he is the best.”

When asked for his assessment of the overall performance, Klopp added: “It was good! I cannot say differently. After international break, it is hard to find the rhythm after playing different systems, but the boys were so good despite only having one session before today. I think Watford had ideas, but we didn’t let them play. The goals were really brilliant, there was great attitude, energy and character.”

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Leicester 4-2 Man Utd: Foxes stifle Red Devils’ desperate hope for an EPL win

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Manchester United’s 29-game unbeaten away run ended in dramatic fashion as Leicester triumphed 4-2 in a six-goal thriller at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Mason Greenwood slammed the visitors into the lead after a clever one-two with Bruno Fernandes, before Foxes midfielder Youri Tielemans found the top corner from the edge of the box to level just after the half-hour.

The game exploded late on, when Caglar Soyuncu, Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy netted in the space of six minutes to swing the game decisively in Leicester’s favour.

The result leaves United behind fourth-placed Brighton and outside the Champions League spots, with Brendan Rodgers’ side moving up to 11th.

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