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Monday 10 March 2014

Barclays U21s: Bytyqi's practice pays off at free-kicks

Find out more about winger Sinan Bytyqi ahead of Man City v Southampton at Etihad Stadium

  • Sinan Bytyqi will be in action for Man City U21s at Etihad Stadium this evening

Ahead of this evening's Barclays Under-21 Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton, which takes place at Etihad Stadium at 7pm, we profile City's exciting winger Sinan Bytyqi, who has helped Patrick Vieira's side string together a remarkable 12-match winning streak that has lifted them into fourth and the final play-off place.

Sinan Bytyqi

Born: 15 January 1995, Austria
Position: Winger

Austria youth international Sinan Bytyqi has belied his modest years to play a starring role in Manchester City’s excellent 2013/14 season so far in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.

His footballing hero is Neymar and it is easy to see why when you see the 19-year-old play, with his flicks and tricks bewitching many a full-back for club and country. Bytyqi has been an integral member of Patrick Vieira’s under-19 selection, who have reached the last eight of the inaugural UEFA Youth League competition, and the winger scored a sublime solo goal against Newcastle United to kickstart Man City’s comeback win in an exciting Under-21 Premier League Cup quarter-final. (click here to see)

"When my coach told me City had phoned and I was delighted; it was an easy decision"
Sinan Bytyqi

Beginnings

I started playing football when I was 4. I started playing with my dad, rather than with a team for the first few years. Then I joined the club in my city and I started playing football in a proper team regularly. When I was 13 or 14, I joined Admira Wacker and from there I joined City.

Spotted by City

I was playing for the Austrian national team in Denmark. We had to play in Denmark and Italy in our qualification group. I was on the bench but at 0-0 I went on to the pitch and we ended up winning 2-0. I made the assists for both goals and directly after the game, there was a call to the coach but he would not say which team was calling. Obviously, I was eager to learn more. We played two games and when I got home, he told me it was City and I was delighted; it was an easy decision!

First days in Manchester

The first month was difficult because the Manchester accent is quite difficult to understand. So it was quite difficult at first, but once you are used to it, it’s fine and I understand everything.

Multilingual

I learned to speak English at school but I was not as good then as I am now. When I'm at home, my family speaks Albanian and all of my friends in Austria speak German.

International stage

We started very well in our European Championship qualifying group - we tried to play differently every game. We have played eight games, have won seven and lost one, so we reached the next round. Now we're going to play in Russia in June. It was a really good qualification stage for me. I scored four goals in three games and made two assists.

Dead-ball specialist

I stayed later in training to improve my free-kicks and it's nice to see that the extra work is paying off and I've managed to score a few this season. I always try and get the ball up and down over the wall and find the corner of the net.

The above is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Manchester City. Fans wishing to watch Bytyqi's interview can do so on Manchester City's website by clicking here >>. Those supporters who would like to watch the Austrian whizzkid in action can do so tonight from the Colin Bell Stand Level 1.

Ticket details

Tickets are free for season-card holders, while non-season-card holders can purchase a ticket for £3 for adults and £1 concessions (under-16s and over-65s) in person only at the ticket office above the City Store at Etihad Stadium. From 5.30pm tickets can also be purchased from the Stadium Ticket Office located in BT City Square (behind the stage) until 7.15pm. Click here >> for further details. Car parking is also available free of charge to all supporters in Blue H, accessible from Alan Turing Way.

There are six other Barclays Under-21 Premier League matches taking place today, including Norwich City v Sunderland at Carrow Road. See below for Monday's fixture list.

Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixtures

Kick-offs 7pm unless stated

10 March
12pm, Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion, THFC training centre
Aston Villa v Leicester City, Pirelli Stadium
Everton v Stoke City, Southport FC
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium
Norwich City v Sunderland, Carrow Road
Reading v Bolton Wanderers, Basingstoke Town
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United, AFC Telford United

Barclays Under-21 Premier League top of the table

POS CLUB P W D L GF GA GD PTS
1 Fulham  16 9 5 2 32 23 9    32
2 Liverpool  15 10 1 4 42 23 19    31
3 Chelsea
14 8 4 2 35 20 15    28
4 Man City 14 9
1
4
30 17 13    28
5 Sunderland 16 8 4
3
31
20 11
   28
6 West Ham 16 8 3
5
27 22 5
   27

Find out the full Barclays U21 Premier League fixture list here and view the table here.

You can follow developments on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL

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Key Points

  • Ahead of tonight's Barclays U21 Premier League match between Man City and Southampton we profile City winger Sinan Bytyqi
  • Austria youth international has helped Patrick Vieira's charges win 12 matches in a row
  • Etihad Stadium opens its doors to supporters from 5.30pm this evening