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Borussia Monchengladbach want to keep West Ham's Reece Oxford

Borussia Monchengladbach want to keep West Ham's Reece Oxford


Can Manchester City go the entire Premier League season unbeaten? 

Tottenham are the latest team to try and stop the Pep Guardiola juggernaut as they travel to the Etihad for Saturday's late kickoff. Guardiola's men could open up a 14 point lead at the top with a win, having set the record for consecutive Premier League victories (15) after beating Swansea 4-0 in midweek.

Will Mauricio Pochettino's side claim a surprise win? Predict that and the rest of the matches in our polls.

Manchester United travel to West Brom on Sunday as they look to keep up their fading pursuit of the league leaders while Chelsea host Southampton on Saturday and Newcastle are at Arsenal. 

Liverpool face Bournemouth and high flying Burnley are at Brighton, as they hope to remain on the coattails of the top four.

How will the games go? Vote in the polls and have your say in the comments.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

When Manchester City fans first saw Bernardo Silva, he pulled the strings for an hour in what would turn out to be a 5-3 defeat for his Monaco side at the Etihad in last season's Champions League. It was an impressive display from a player on the losing team, and one that made the home supporters sit up and take notice.

While City weren't in desperate need for yet another creative midfielder last summer, few complained that Pep Guardiola made the Portuguese playmaker his first signing ahead of the new season. The manager splashed out £43million for the Monaco star's services, despite there being more pressing issues in defence that needed addressing.

The paperwork was completed in May, before the season had even finished, and the midfielder joined as soon as the summer window opened. Yet nearly four months into the campaign, Silva has barely featured and is nowhere near the form he was showing when he helped Monaco lift the Ligue 1 title last term.

He has one goal to his name -- he netted the seventh in City's 7-2 victory over Stoke in October -- and has made just nine starts in 23 appearances for his new club. His contributions have mainly been from the bench, coming on in the final 15 minutes of games that are generally already won.

Given the chance to start in League Cup matches or in rotated City sides, he's not really found his feet. Another chance went begging for him when he couldn't seem to impose himself in the team of fringe players that lost 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

Guardiola disagrees with the assessment that Silva isn't ready, insisting that the only reason the Portugal international isn't being used more regularly is that he can't drop those who already have starting berths. However, anyone who's watched City a lot this season will have seen Silva not really hitting the right notes when he's on the field.

That isn't to say Silva won't be a star at the Etihad. He's only 23 and is trying to force his way into one of the best attacking lineups in Europe. The home supporters need to give him the time he needs to settle for his new club and not expect him to light up the pitch every time he's got the ball at his feet.

There is precedent that Silva can take heart from, too. He'll know as much as anyone that he's not been able to get as involved as he would have liked so far this season, but with patience there will be room for him in one of the attacking midfielder roles.

He's a similar style of a player to David Silva, and the Spaniard took a while to get into his stride in Manchester. Of course, he wasn't faced with the weight of expectation Bernardo Silva is -- but it was still a very slow start from a player that would go on to be one of the leading stars of his era.

Former City assistant manager David Platt recently revealed that he thought David Silva would "never make a Premier League player" because of the impression he gave when he first signed for Roberto Mancini's team in 2010.

Platt thought the Spaniard looked too slight and believed tough defenders would be able to knock him around too easily. Seven years on, the midfielder is still the heartbeat of City's creativity as he approaches his 32nd birthday.

It all clicked into place for the playmaker in City's 2-0 Europa League win over Red Bull Salzburg in 2010. He scored the opener and began to look settled. A matter of weeks later, he planted a brilliant goal into the corner of Matt Gilks' net, after skipping past three challenges inside the box, as City beat Blackpool 3-2 at Bloomfield Road -- and after that he never looked back.

Up to that point, and like his Portuguese namesake this season, Silva had been a bit-part player.

With time to adapt to life in England, the Bernardo Silva should be able to take the Premier League by storm. There have only been glimpses of his ability so far and it's left supporters nervous that he'll never make the grade at the Etihad. However, it was the same story when David Silva joined seven years ago -- and a slow introduction to the first team worked perfectly for him.

Bernardo Silva needs to get more minutes in the side when it's nearer to full strength, instead of being expected to shine in a starting line-up of fringe players and academy graduates. Players develop at different rates -- Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane both took time to get going at City, while Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero hit the ground running.

City fans need to make sure they don't write off Bernardo Silva before he's been given the opportunity to show what he can do.

David Mooney is ESPN FC's Manchester City blogger. Twitter: @DavidMooney

Borussia Monchengladbach are keen on a permanent deal for West Ham defender Reece Oxford, who made his first start for the Bundesliga club in this week's 1-0 defeat at Freiburg.

Oxford, 19 this Saturday, made only his second appearance for Gladbach on Tuesday, but sporting director Max Eberl said on Thursday that he has developed well since arriving on a season-long loan in the summer.

Having joined the Bundesliga side as a possible successor for Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, Oxford previously made just one brief appearance as a last-minute substitute in a 3-1 win against Hoffenheim in late October.

But following his first full 90 minutes for Gladbach on Tuesday, Eberl has now said that they held "exploratory talks" with West Ham over a permanent deal for the defender.

"Reece has made a real development, even though he only now played one full match," Eberl told reporters on Thursday. "He's done a solid job in a difficult situation." 

When Oxford failed to break into the Gladbach squad earlier this season, a source told ESPN FC that West Ham considered recalling the defender early this winter, but Eberl said that this idea now is off the table.

"We want to at least keep him until the end of the season because West Ham could recall him after he failed to make the required appearances," Eberl said. "On top of that we have asked if it's possible to sign him on a permanent transfer, but that's early stages -- we are in exploratory talks."

Referencing the current situation in German politics, where parties have so far been unable to agree on a new government following the general election in September, he added: "Hopefully they won't last as long as in politics."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.