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NYCFC’s, er, Man City’s Diskerud back on loan to Goteborg

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Mix Diskerud’s last 11 months are something else when laid out, line-by-line.

March 2017:  Leaves NYCFC, on loan to Goteborg

December 2017: “Back” to NYCFC from Goteborg

Jan. 2018: Transfered from NYCFC to Man City

Friday: Back to Goteborg, on loan from Man City

[ MORE: American debuts for Chelsea ]

Diskerud, 27, seemed destined for a return to Goteborg after leaving Patrick Vieira’s NYCFC last season. He was a regular for the Swedish side at defensive mid and right mid, missing only one of 30 starts (yellow card accumulation).

But Manchester City bought his rights from NYCFC instead of Goteborg, and now Diskerud rejoins the club that very much appreciates him until… Man City says so?

It’s weird.

Diskerud had five goals and four assists for Goteborg, one of their more effective players according to advanced stats site WhoScored.com.

Boost for Man City: Jesus back in first team training

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Pep Guardiola reported some good news on Friday as Gabriel Jesus is set to take part in first-team training as he makes his way back from injury.

Jesus picked up a knee ligament injury on New Year’s Eve against Crystal Palace and has missed Manchester City’s last 11 matches. But marksman Sergio Aguero has more than held down the fort, and now Guardiola has a selection headache as Jesus tries to get fit for the Carabao Cup final on February 25. Man City face Wigan in the FA Cup this Monday, though it’s not clear if Jesus will be fit in time for that.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Without Jesus in the lineup, Aguero has been in sparkling form, scoring 14 goals in 11 matches in all competitions, including a pair of hat-tricks, one ending with four goals scored. While Jesus had a good scoring record early in the season, it would be hard to see Guardiola replacing Aguero after his goal-scoring exploits the last two months, which is good for a team in the running for four titles this season.

Now Jesus will have more time to recover and find his form in moments off the bench, and he won’t have the pressure to score, with Aguero and co. shouldering the load.

“Game by game” – Pep eyeing it all after Man City blowout of Basel

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Maybe it’s just us, but it sure sounds like Pep Guardiola is moving on from his refusal to admit Manchester City could win four trophies this year in a rarely-seen quadruple.

[ RECAP: Basel 0-4 Man City ]

City battered Basel 4-0 in Switzerland on Tuesday in a first leg of a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match which essentially renders the second leg moot.

It was 3-0 before halftime.

“An excellent result,” Guardiola said, from the BBC. “We are almost in the quarter-finals. Champions League is always 180 minutes and we will take the game seriously but it’s an excellent result.”

Guardiola’s men rarely lose by four — they did fall 4-0 at Everton last season — and to think they’ll lose by four without scoring at home is nearly unconscionable.

Now they’ve got one leg in the quarterfinals, a 16-point lead on the Premier League table, a League Cup Final at the end of the month, and are a win at Wigan Athletic away from the FA Cup quarterfinals.

“We are still in February and in the Premier League we are in an amazing position and we are almost in the quarter-finals, we are in one final (EFL Cup) and on Monday we have the opportunity to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Game by game.”

It still seems wild to consider a quadruple when considering that there are a trio of one-off, 90-120 minute, anything-can-happen matches at the end of the three parts of the four trophies, but it’s neither impossible nor — perhaps — even improbable.

The hardest bit to win will be the Champions League, and bookies have them as the favorite (around 3:1 odds).

Man City smashes Basel with 4 away goals

Georgios Kefalas/Keystone via AP
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Manchester City essentially rendered the second leg of its UEFA Champions League tie with Basel moot in a 4-0 blasting St. Jakob-Park.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ilkay Gundogan scored in each half, and City built a 3-0 lead in Switzerland and have more than one foot in the quarterfinals.

Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero also scored for City, which can prepare for the March 7 home leg with relative comfort.

Gundogan’s second was a ripper.

LIVE, UCL – Juventus v. Tottenham, Basel v. Man City

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It’s a big afternoon in the UEFA Champions League for the Premier League’s two form teams who kick off the first legs of the UCL Round of 16 with road games.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores

Manchester City head to FC Basel in the first leg as the heavy favorites to advance to the last eight with Pep Guardiola‘s men 16 points clear at the PL summit and the bookmakers favorites to be crowned European champions. Will Kevin De Bruyne and Co. wrap things up in the first leg?

As for Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino‘s young side are the underdogs as they face reigning Italian champions Juventus in Turin. Juve have been the runners up in Europe’s elite club competition in two of the past three seasons and have a host of experience at this level. Can Harry Kane and Dele Alli get the better of Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini?

[ MORE: JPW’s Champions League, last 16 picks

Click on the link above to follow live commentary of the two UCL last 16 games, while we will have you covered for analysis and reaction from both games right here at Pro Soccer Talk.


Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 schedule

Basel vs. Manchester City – 2:45 p.m. ET
Juventus vs. Tottenham Hotspur – 2:45 p.m. ET