Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City new boy Rodri is the “perfect fit” for Pep Guardiola’s defending Premier League champions.Spain international Rodri became City’s record signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid in July.He made his competitive debut as City retained the Community Shield with a penalty shoot-out triumph over Liverpool at Wembley on Saturday, turning in an assured display. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Guardiola has been searching for a long-term heir to Fernandinho to operate at the base of his midfield for some time, with interest in Fred, Jorginho and Frenkie de Jong ultimately failing to bear fruit.But De Bruyne feels Rodri has acclimatised impressively to a pivotal position within City’s tactical setup and, at 23, aligns with the broader long-term plan of the club’s transfer policy.”He’s a perfect fit for us. I think the way that we did transfers the last years add up,” he said, with Guardiola’s men now preparing for the start of their Premier League title defence at West Ham on Saturday.”You see a lot of young talent coming in willing to play our style. I think that’s what they’re looking for and he’s a perfect fit for us.”A composed competitive debut so far from Rodri 1-0 #mancity pic.twitter.com/25wT2QFcxb — Manchester City (@ManCity) August 4, 2019 At Wembley, Rodri attempted more passes than any of his City team-mates, with 62 at a 91.9 per cent completion rate, and was level with defensive duo Nicolas Otamendi and Oleksandr Zinchenko for the most touches (74).At almost 6ft 3ins, the former Villarreal man is an obvious asset to a largely diminutive side Guardiola famously claimed has to “go to the church to pray” when they concede a set piece .He won all of his aerial duels against Liverpool and gained possession nine times – again the highest figure in that metric.”I think he’s the perfect [defensive midfielder] for the way we want to play,” De Bruyne continued.”Our DM is a really difficult position. You need certain players for it and there’s not a lot of people who can do both sides of it.”Obviously we’re very good on the ball. You can’t just be defensive, you have to be offensive also.”One down! pic.twitter.com/rEqJvukpu7 — Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) August 4, 2019 Working well in tandem with Rodri, De Bruyne turned in an all-action display as City were the better side in the first-half, taking a 12th-minute lead through Raheem Sterling.It was enough for the Belgium international to be named man of the match and, although he credited Rodri’s influence, he also cited operating somewhere close to full fitness being a factor, after two medial knee ligament injuries limited his impact during his club’s treble-winning season.”It wouldn’t be different with Fernandinho there,” he added. “It’s maybe a difference with last year because I’m feeling physically better than I did last year. I needed more time.”I think the way he’s performed in pre-season and in training has been phenomenal. To be the new guy and still be on this level is a good sign.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.ABC will broadcast the action between Alabama and Duke.🚨 #CFAKickoff ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨Gametime ⬇📅: Saturday, Aug. 31🏟: @MBStadium ⌚: 3:30 p.m. ET📺: @ABCNetwork🎟» https://t.co/upaqACuazo pic.twitter.com/XOqPyjihDn— #CFAPeachBowl (@CFAPeachBowl) May 30, 2019Alabama will most likely be heavy favorites heading into this matchup. It’ll be one of four non-conference games on its schedule for the 2019 season.Nick Saban and his team will be looking for revenge, following the disappointing loss to Clemson in the national championship.Alabama’s next two game times and channels have also been announced. Via TideSports.com:Sept. 7 vs. New Mexico State – 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)Sept. 14 at South Carolina – 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)Perhaps a statement victory over Duke in the season opener will send a message to the rest of college football.Do you think the Crimson Tide will roll past the Blue Devils? ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts to a play during the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)After finishing last season on the worst note possible, the Alabama Crimson Tide will enter next season with more than enough motivation. With Tua Tagovailoa leading the team for his junior season, it’s wise to expect another strong year in Tuscaloosa.The Crimson Tide will begin their new season with a showdown against the Duke Blue Devils. It will take place at a neutral site.Duke ended its 8-5 season with a blowout victory over Temple in the Independence Bowl. However, the Blue Devils no longer have Daniel Jones under center to anchor the offense.While the actual game won’t take place until August 31, the official kickoff time was just released this afternoon.