Chelsea vs Brighton LIVE: Confirmed team news with Kante absent and wonderkids on the bench for Premier League clash on talkSPORT 2

27 Sep

talkSPORT is the place to be on Saturday as we bring you live Premier League coverage from noon ’til night.

GameDay kicks off with Liverpool’s trip to Sheffield United, before Chelsea welcome Brighton to Stamford Bridge at 3pm – LIVE on talkSPORT 2.

Can Brighton pull off a shock at Stamford Bridge?

Just as Frank Lampard’s reign at Stamford Bridge looked to be gaining momentum, Chelsea suffered damaging back-to-back defeats at home last week, losing to Valencia in the Champions League and Liverpool in the Premier League.

A 7-1 victory over Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday would’ve done much to lift the mood, especially with the return of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James from injury, and an impressive full debut from Billy Gilmour.

Brighton, meanwhile, have not won a league match since their victory over Watford on the opening day of the season.


Chelsea vs Brighton: How to listen

Our coverage will start on talkSPORT 2 at 2.30pm before the match kicks off at 3pm.

To tune in, just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.


Chelsea vs Brighton: Confirmed team news

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante does not feature in the matchday squad for the Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.

The Frenchman has struggled with a persistent ankle problem all season, however he played 90 minutes against Liverpool last weekend and was expected to play today.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James are named on the bench after returning from injury in the 7-1 victory over Grimsby on Wednesday, while Pedro and Willian start on the wings.

Kante scored for Chelsea last week
Getty Images - Getty

Andreas Christensen has recovered from the injury suffered against the Reds and partners Fikayo Tomori in defence.

For the visitors, Shane Duffy misses out due to a calf problem, while Glenn Murray returns to the bench following an ankle injury.

Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Tomori, Christensen, Alonso, Barkley, Jorginho, Mount, Pedro, Abraham, Willian.

Brighton: Ryan, Webster, Dunk, Burn, Montoya, Stephens, Mooy, Bissouma, Alzate, Gross, Maupay.

It’s been a mixed start for Lampard as Chelsea manager
AFP or licensors

GameDay Live with Adrian Durham

Adrian Durham will be your host as we go Around the Grounds for all the goals as they go in up and down the country during the 3pm kick-offs.

Tottenham will look to get their campaign back on track with a home tie against Southampton.

Elsewhere, the only two teams without a win this season go head-to-head when Watford travel to Wolves.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa take on Burnley, Crystal Palace welcome Norwich to Selhurst Park, and Bournemouth face West Ham.

Once the full-time whistles go, Adrian will then lead our Full-Time Phone-In so you the fans can have your say on all the action.

 

Sheffield United vs Liverpool live commentary, confirmed team news and full coverage of Premier League clash on talkSPORT

27 Sep

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and we begin at Bramall Lane as the Premier League’s surprise package Sheffield United host league-leaders Liverpool.

We’ll be bringing you live Premier League action from noon ’til night, with Chelsea vs Brighton and Everton Man City coming up later.

Can Sheffield United stun the league leaders?
Getty

But first, Jurgen Klopp’s men will be looking to continue their perfect start to the season, with six wins from their opening six matches making them the only team in England with a 100% record.

They’ve already opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table and, on current form, Liverpool look unstoppable.

Victory over the Blades would make it 15 consecutive wins in the Premier League, but don’t count out the hosts, who have already stunned everyone with their bright start to the season.


Sheffield United vs Liverpool: How to listen

Our coverage will begin at 11am and the clash gets under way at 12.30pm on Saturday.

To tune in, just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.


Sheffield United vs Liverpool:  Confirmed team news

Sheffield United have named an unchanged side to the one which beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park last weekend, with David McGoldrick still missing through injury.

Meanwhile, Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has recovered from a dead leg to start at Bramall Lane, meaning Liverpool are also unchanged from their victory at Chelsea.

Sheffield United: Dean Henderson, Baldock, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Stevens, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, McBurnie, Robinson.

Subs: Moore, Freeman, Jagielka, Mousset, Osborn, Clarke, Besic.

Liverpool: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Subs: Kelleher, Lovren, Milner, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Origi.

 

 

Premier League LIVE: Sheffield United vs Liverpool and Everton vs Man City among talkSPORT’s huge day of live coverage

27 Sep

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we continue to bring you live exclusive coverage of the Premier League from noon ’til night.

And this Saturday, the title race takes centre stage, with favourites Liverpool and Manchester City both in action live on talkSPORT.

It’s another action-packed Saturday on talkSPORT

First up, the Reds travel to Bramall Lane for the lunchtime kick-off to face this season’s surprise package: Sheffield United.

After that, you can listen to Chelsea vs Brighton on talkSPORT 2 at 3pm, before Everton welcome City to Goodison Park in the early evening clash.

talkSPORT will be across everything this Saturday. Here’s more detail on what we’ve got in store.


Sheffield United vs Liverpool 

Coverage starts from 11am on talkSPORT (kick-off 12:30pm)

Jurgen Klopp’s men are the only team in England with a 100% record, taking six wins from their opening six games.

They’ve already opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table and, on current form, Liverpool look unstoppable.

Victory over the Blades would make it 15 consecutive wins in the Premier League, but don’t count out the hosts, who have already stunned everyone with their bright start to the season.

Klopp’s Liverpool have made a fantastic start to their latest title bid
AFP or licensors

QPR vs West Brom

Coverage starts from 11am on talkSPORT 2 (kick-off 12:30pm)

You didn’t think we’d forget about the Championship, did you?

West Brom are the only team who remain unbeaten after the first eight games of the season, but that record will be seriously tested against QPR.

The Hoops have taken five wins from their opening eight matches, moving them level on points with Saturday’s opponents at the top end of the table.

Mark Warburton’s men enter the clash on a run of four consecutive wins, making them the form horse in the Championship.


GameDay Live with Adrian Durham

Coverage starts from 2:30pm on talkSPORT

It’s 3pm again and that mean there’s another bumper batch of games in the traditional Saturday afternoon slot.

Adrian Durham will be your host as we go Around the Grounds for all the goals as they go in up and down the country.

Chelsea and Tottenham will both look to get their campaigns back on track with home ties against Brighton and Southampton respectively.

Elsewhere, the only two teams without a win this season go head-to-head when Watford travel to Wolves.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa take on Burnley, Crystal Palace welcome Norwich to Selhurst Park, and Bournemouth face West Ham.

Once the full-time whistles go, Adrian will then lead our Full-Time Phone-In so you the fans can have your say on all the action.

Tottenham will be looking to bounce back from their shocking Carabao Cup defeat to Colchester
AFP or licensors

Chelsea vs Brighton

Coverage starts from 2:30pm on talkSPORT 2 (kick-off 3pm)

Just as Frank Lampard’s reign at Stamford Bridge looked to be gaining momentum, Chelsea suffered damaging back-to-back defeats at home last week, losing to Valencia in the Champions League and Liverpool in the Premier League.

A 7-1 victory over Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday would’ve done much to lift the mood, especially with the return of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James from injury, and an impressive full debut from Billy Gilmour.

Hudson-Odoi and James could both feature on Saturday after being named in the squad.

Brighton, meanwhile, have not won a league match since their victory over Watford on the opening day of the season.

It’s been a mixed start for Lampard as Chelsea manager
AFP or licensors

Everton vs Man City

Coverage starts from 5:15pm on talkSPORT (kick-off 5:30pm)

What’s the last thing you want when you’re under pressure and struggling for results? A visit from the champions in front of your home crowd.

Despite not facing any of the established top six in their opening six fixtures, Everton find themselves 14th in the table following back-to-back defeats.

Man City, on the other hand, just thrashed Watford 8-0. Toffees boss Marco Silva may begin to fear for his job if his side lose again.

Man City ran rampant against Watford last weekend
AFP or licensors

Pep Guardiola press conference: Man City boss on Bernardo Silva controversy, Everton and Gabriel Jesus comments

27 Sep

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has again jumped to the defence Bernardo Silva against accusations of racism following a controversial tweet to club team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Portugal international Silva, 25, posted pictures on social media on Sunday comparing Mendy, with whom he also played at Monaco, to the character on a packet of Conguitos chocolates.

The tweet from Silva to Mendy has caused a storm
Getty Images - Getty

Anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out has called on the Football Association to take action against Silva, referring to the contents of the post as a racist stereotype, while the governing body has written to City requesting their observations.

But Guardiola has once more stood up for his player, saying: “The people who judge Bernardo don’t know him. He is an exceptional person.”

In his press conference ahead of City’s clash at Everton on Saturday – a clash you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT from 5:30pm – Guardiola also spoke of what his players can expect from their trip to Goodison Park.

Here’s everything he had to say about all of that, plus more…

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

Stoke vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2

Sheffield United vs Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT

QPR vs West Bromwich Albion (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2

Chelsea vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2

Everton vs Manchester City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT


On Bernardo Silva’s tweet

“Bernardo, or anyone else in my squad, do this thing for a joke. Benjamin is like a brother to Bernardo, that is what I see every single day here.

“We spoke many times about what happened in stadiums, regarding Bernardo I was incredibly clear.

“If the people believe Bernardo is this type of person they are completely wrong. They judge one joke I judge three years with him.”

On the reaction to Bernardo Silva’s tweet

“If someone feels bad for that tweet it can happen, but the people who judge Bernardo don’t know him.

“He’s an exceptional person. He likes to be involved in different situations.

“It looked the same, it happens a thousand, million times with white people.”

Silva is a hugely important player to City
AFP or licensors

On Everton

“They’re an incredible team, top manager. It’s one of the toughest games you can play during the season, we know it.

“We’ve prepared, the players know how difficult it is.”

On Gabriel Jesus’ first-team chances

“He’s special, I read the interview [when as asked for more first team chances] and he was perfect, he has incredible respect.

“He wants to play, he’s the No.9 for Brazil. He’s maybe the only striker in the world at this level that has this mentality.

“If he plays one second or 90 minutes he plays his best. I understand completely.”

Jesus’ first-team action is limited due to Sergio Aguero’s brilliance
AFP

On availability in defence

“I knew they [Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis] were ready. They train with us, they play with us.

“If they weren’t ready they wouldn’t play with us.”


Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you three live Premier League commentaries across our network. You can hear live and exclusive commentary of Everton vs Manchester City on talkSPORT 2 this Saturday at 5:30pm.

Pep Guardiola press conference: Man City boss on Bernardo Silva controversy, Everton and Gabriel Jesus comments

27 Sep

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has again jumped to the defence Bernardo Silva against accusations of racism following a controversial tweet to club team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Portugal international Silva, 25, posted pictures on social media on Sunday comparing Mendy, with whom he also played at Monaco, to the character on a packet of Conguitos chocolates.

The tweet from Silva to Mendy has caused a storm
Getty Images - Getty

Anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out has called on the Football Association to take action against Silva, referring to the contents of the post as a racist stereotype, while the governing body has written to City requesting their observations.

But Guardiola has once more stood up for his player, saying: “The people who judge Bernardo don’t know him. He is an exceptional person.”

In his press conference ahead of City’s clash at Everton on Saturday – a clash you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT from 5:30pm – Guardiola also spoke of what his players can expect from their trip to Goodison Park.

Here’s everything he had to say about all of that, plus more…

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

Stoke vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2

Sheffield United vs Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT

QPR vs West Bromwich Albion (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2

Chelsea vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2

Everton vs Manchester City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT


On Bernardo Silva’s tweet

“Bernardo, or anyone else in my squad, do this thing for a joke. Benjamin is like a brother to Bernardo, that is what I see every single day here.

“We spoke many times about what happened in stadiums, regarding Bernardo I was incredibly clear.

“If the people believe Bernardo is this type of person they are completely wrong. They judge one joke I judge three years with him.”

On the reaction to Bernardo Silva’s tweet

“If someone feels bad for that tweet it can happen, but the people who judge Bernardo don’t know him.

“He’s an exceptional person. He likes to be involved in different situations.

“It looked the same, it happens a thousand, million times with white people.”

Silva is a hugely important player to City
AFP or licensors

On Everton

“They’re an incredible team, top manager. It’s one of the toughest games you can play during the season, we know it.

“We’ve prepared, the players know how difficult it is.”

On Gabriel Jesus’ first-team chances

“He’s special, I read the interview [when as asked for more first team chances] and he was perfect, he has incredible respect.

“He wants to play, he’s the No.9 for Brazil. He’s maybe the only striker in the world at this level that has this mentality.

“If he plays one second or 90 minutes he plays his best. I understand completely.”

Jesus’ first-team action is limited due to Sergio Aguero’s brilliance
AFP

On availability in defence

“I knew they [Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis] were ready. They train with us, they play with us.

“If they weren’t ready they wouldn’t play with us.”


Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you three live Premier League commentaries across our network. You can hear live and exclusive commentary of Everton vs Manchester City on talkSPORT 2 this Saturday at 5:30pm.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to meet Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, whose overlapping centre-backs wowed Marcelo Bielsa

27 Sep

“Sheffield United’s head coach is someone with new ideas and I have seen very few people with these ideas.”

Marcelo Bielsa was talking up Chris Wilder’s side way before their promotion to the Premier League.

Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have been praised for the way they play
Getty Images - Getty

The Leeds manager, who has been singled out by Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino for his influence on coaching, faced Sheffield United in the Championship last season and their overlapping centre-backs clearly left an impression.

And Jurgen Klopp – the best in the world right now – is looking forward to their meeting at Bramall Lane on Saturday, which is live on talkSPORT.

“What they do, they do really well in the system they play,” the Liverpool manager said.

“I followed them a lot in the Championship and know how competitive this league is. Going up, the way they did against the teams like Leeds and Derby last season, it’s a big one.

“He’s a really great coach and I’m looking forward to facing his team.”

Bielsa on Wilder

“Sheffield United’s head coach is someone with new ideas and I have seen very few people with these ideas.

“Head coaches look at colleagues to learn from them and we want to learn new things, not what everyone else is doing.

“Usually when you observe someone, you don’t observe what you see everyday, you observe new things.

“The ideas of our next opponent deserve to be studied.

“What I try to do is make the public realise the different styles of football and my goal is to make the fans value this part of the game, which they wouldn’t normally value.

“When I am talking about these features of the opponent, I have the same goal.

“I saw things in Sheffield United that I wanted to develop and I couldn’t do it, I I don’t know the history of the head coach, but he has done very well.”

Wilder is aiming to cause table toppers Liverpool problems and spoke of his desire to be a threat.

“We’re going to have to do a lot of things right and play to the best of our ability,” he told talkSPORT, adding he hopes the front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have an off day.

“We’ve got to hope they don’t hit the heights they have for the last three years under a fantastic manager.

“From our point of view, we’ve got to be hard to beat and better in possession.

“In this division, we know we’re not going to have as much of the ball as we have in the past two or three years, but you’ve got to win games here to survive and we’ve certainly had the attitude to try and go out and win whether home or away.

“Individual mistakes have cost so far and high quality finishing has punished us.

“There’s a lot of work, out of possession, that goes into our game as much as it does in trying to take the game to the opposition.”

The popular Wilder is also adamant he can realise his ambitions at Sheffield United, while acknowledging Klopp’s connection with Liverpool.

Liverpool won the Champions League last season
getty

“There’s a genuine affection between his players and vice versa, the connection with the supporters is there to see.

“From a tactical point of view, I love the way they play and move the ball around the pitch and the way they get it back, too.”

However, he will tell his players to embrace the occasion of playing against some of football’s best and not be overawed by the stars opposite them in the tunnel.


Sheffield United vs Liverpool kicks of GameDay on talkSPORT, with the Premier League clash getting under way at 12.30pm

Jordan Pickford EXCLUSIVE: Everton and England star reveals his favourite goalkeepers including Manchester United legend

27 Sep

England and Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has revealed who are his favourite goalkeepers.

Pickford told talkSPORT about who he loved to watch growing up, who he gets on best with and who the top goalkeeper in Europe is right now.

Jordan Pickford joined Everton in 2017
Getty Images - Getty

The 25-year-old will have his work cut out between the sticks on Saturday when Everton face Manchester City, which is the final match of this weekend’s GameDay fixtures exclusively live on talkSPORT with kick-off at 5.30pm.

Ahead of that game, talkSPORT spoke Pickford about his favourite goalkeepers.

Favourite goalkeeper growing up?

“Probably Peter Schmeichel. When I was a kid I used to like throwing myself about and when I used to watch Peter Schmeichel in goal he just used to throw himself in front of the ball. His bravery was second to none.

Which goalkeeper would you have loved to watch live?

“(Iker) Casillas in his prime. I think that would have been a joy to watch.”

Pickford has played 21 times for England
AFP or licensors

Which Premier League goalkeeper do you get on best with?

“(Aaron) Ramsdale is a good lad for Bournemouth, who has just started to come into the Prem. I always used to look up to Joe Hart when I was growing up especially with his pathway. I felt like I always got on with Harty. He’s a top lad.”

Who’s the best goalkeeper in Europe?

“I think Ter Stegen is flying at Barcelona. Oblak is a proper cat for Atletico Madrid as well.”

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Stoke vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sheffield United vs Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • QPR vs West Bromwich Albion (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Chelsea vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Manchester City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT

Which of your outfield team-mates would make a good goalkeeper?

“After watching them a bit on the training pitch, I think Seamus (Coleman). With his Irish background as a Gaelic footballer I think he fancies his chances in goal.”

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Sheffield United vs Liverpool predicted line-ups: Jurgen Klopp welcomes two forwards back from injury but Blades have major doubt

27 Sep

Liverpool will be looking to continue their perfect start to the season when they travel to newly-promoted Sheffield United on Saturday, a game you can hear LIVE on talkSPORT.

Jurgen Klopp’s men head to Bramall Lane on the back of a 2-0 win against MK Dons in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have started the season well
Getty Images - Getty

Meanwhile, the Blades lost 1-0 at home to Sunderland in the same competition with manager Chris Wilder expected to recall the vast majority of the 10 players he rested in midweek.

The pair last met 12 years ago and it was Liverpool who came out on top with Robbie Fowler scoring two first-half penalties in a 4-0 thrashing at Anfield.

After winning at Everton last weekend, Wilder’s men have the opportunity to record back-to-back league victories against Merseyside opposition.

Below, talkSPORT.com takes a look at how both sides could line up this weekend.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Sheffield United vs Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • QPR vs West Bromwich Albion (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Chelsea vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Manchester City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT

Sheffield United

The Blades will be looking to pull off a big shock by beating the Champions League holders this weekend – but are likely to have to attempt to do so without David McGoldrick.

The Republic of Ireland striker is a major doubt with a groin injury, while fellow forward Billy Sharp completes a three-game ban.

How Sheffield United could line up against Liverpool on Saturday

Liverpool

Alisson Becker and Xherdan Shaqiri are still sidelined for the Reds, but Sadio Mane should return to Klopp’s starting XI despite suffering a dead leg on Sunday in the 2-1 win at Chelsea.

Divock Origi will be given a late fitness test ahead of the trip.

How Liverpool could line-up at Bramall Lane

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you three live Premier League commentaries across our network.

You can hear live and exclusive commentary of Sheffield United vs Liverpool on talkSPORT this Saturday at 12:30pm.

Kevin De Bruyne: Man City star on course to smash Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s assists record and backed to win Ballon d’Or

27 Sep

Kevin De Bruyne is considered by many to be one of the world’s best midfielders and, judging by the stats, he’s only getting better.

The Manchester City playmaker created a league-high 105 chances for his teammates in their record-breaking 2017/18 campaign where they won 100 points in their Premier League success.

A knee injury limited his involvement last season but, this term, he is back to full fitness and has made a stunning start – creating 27 clear-cut chances for his side already.

De Bruyne has been sensational for Manchester City so far this season
Getty Images - Getty

To give the quality of his performances perspective, Christian Eriksen and Paul Pogba have created 10 and 11 chances respectively so far this term, with Manuel Lanzini, Pascal Gross and Riyad Mahrez tied in second in the rankings with 15.

The 28-year-old is tearing opposition defences to shreds with a playmaking masterclass, notching up an extraordinary SEVEN assists already in just six matches.

Despite winning an unprecedented domestic quadruple in 2018/19, Pep Guardiola saw De Bruyne’s absence in the last campaign as a missed opportunity for further dominance.

“We had an incredible season, winning four titles, but we missed him a lot last season, because he’s a special player,” he said after the 8-0 demolition of Watford last weekend.

Most chances created this season

1. Kevin de Bruyne: 27 chances created (451 minutes played)

2. Trent Alexander-Arnold: 23 chances created (540 minutes played)

3. Riyad Mahrez: 15 chances created (308 minutes played)

4. Pascal Gross: 15 chances created (356 minutes played)

5. Manuel Lanzini: 15 chances created (448 minutes played)

6. Gylfi Sigurdsson: 15 chances created (481 minutes played)

7. Emiliano Buendía: 14 chances created (533 minutes played)

8. Jack Grealish: 14 chances created (540 minutes played)

9. Oliver Norwood: 13 chances created (514 minutes played)

10. Lucas Digne: 13 chances created (523 minutes played)

De Bruyne’s rise to the top has been anything but plane sailing, though.

Throughout the early stages career he was repeatedly told he wasn’t good enough for the very highest level – including by Jose Mourinho – who showed him a list of stats detailing how other attacking midfielders at Chelsea were ‘outperforming him’.

“He showed us the stats of all attacking midfielders: assists, goals, pass percentage, decisive actions, dribbles” De Bruyne recalled of a meeting he had in 2013 with Mourinho during his time at Stamford Bridge.

“He wanted to prove that I didn’t perform at the same level as the others. I answered him: ‘Sorry, that’s not logical. I’ve played fewer games. How can you compare us?’”

From that moment, his stint in west London was as good as done.

A £25m move to Wolfsburg followed and ever since De Bruyne has painfully reminded Chelsea what they could have had.

De Bruyne never broke into the starting XI at Chelsea
AFP

The Belgian has now spent four trophy-laden seasons in England, winning everything except the Champions League.

According to former City winger Trevor Sinclair, De Bruyne ranks alongside some of the Premier League’s greatest ever midfielders, including his ex-England teammates David Beckham and Paul Scholes.

“He is right up there with those guys,” Sinclair exclusively told talkSPORT.com,

“He’s putting in match-winning performances, taking the game by the scruff of the neck and winning them by himself.

“When you look at any era with any great team, they’ve always got one great player and for Manchester City that is Kevin De Bruyne.”

Sinclair made 97 appearances for City
ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images

Sinclair also believes De Bruyne’s blistering displays stem from his deep-rooted anger at missing almost half of last season’s title-winning campaign.

“I think there’s a lot of frustration from what he missed out on last season,” he continued.

“He missed half the Premier League games and he is almost taking out his frustration on the rest of the Premier League. His performances have been absolutely breathtaking.

“Physically, I’ve not seen him look any better than now and if he stays fit it’s going to be a difficult title to take away from Manchester City.”

De Bruyne's record at City

Premier League appearances: 126

Wins: 87

Losses: 16

Goals: 25

Assists: 53

Honours: Premier League x2, FA Cup, Carabao Cup x3

Incredibly, ​Manchester City had no players named in FIFA’s World XI that was announced earlier this week – but Sinclair has backed De Bruyne to win the biggest individual prize – the Ballon d’Or – if he remains fit.

“He can absolutely win it,” Sinclair added. “The only reason he hasn’t been considered is because there’s something going on with FIFA and Manchester City players.

“None of them made team of the year – even Bernardo Silva despite what he won for City and Portugal.”

De Bruyne missed a significant part of last season through injury
Getty Images - Getty

De Bruyne’s remarkable start to the campaign will unquestionably be a concern for title rivals Liverpool.

City have a player who has created twice as much as any other and one who is already halfway towards equalling Thierry Henry’s league record of 20 assists in a single season.

And Sinclair believes the Arsenal legend’s record has no chance of staying in tact with De Bruyne in the form he’s in.

“He’s going to absolutely blow that record apart if he continues. I just hope he stays fit because he’s got something no one else has in the Premier League.”

De Bruyne will be in action for Manchester City against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, in one of THREE live GameDay commentaries on talkSPORT
* All stats correct as of 27 September, 2019


LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this weekend...

  • Stoke vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sheffield United vs Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • QPR vs West Bromwich Albion (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Chelsea vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Manchester City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT