Tuesday, 7 May 2013

To rest...or not to rest.

That is the quandary…

Roberto wanted a full, clear week to prepare his players for our 6th visit to Wembley in around 25 months; he’ll get just 4 days after tonight’s game against The Baggies.

To pick a strong team and all but secure 2nd place (no disrespect to Reading or Norwich City whatsoever) OR to rest a few and hope we can complete the task regardless; protecting key players needed to overcome Wigan to secure our 4th trophy in the same period of time.


Not wanting to weaken the team against W.B.A. too much; whilst at the same time protecting key players who we’d like not to pick up an injury or feel too fatigued ahead of the big day.
(Note to Mancini here: Perhaps lay off the ‘Hill of Hell’ in training this week, hey?)

With all that in mind, I’ve tried to do Roberto’s job for him to see just how tricky it really is…


I’m assuming, here, that Pantilimon is gonna keep his F.A. Cup place.


Although including him is often like sticking a training cone at left back (and could prove costly against the Albion) I’d hate to see Clichy missing for Wembley. On this occasion Kolarov = cannon fodder.


I think against Wigan Mancini is going to go for the slightly more mobile Nastasic over the aerial strength of Lescott; so Lescott gets another game tonight…


Similar to Kolarov; cannon fodder for this game.


Too soon for the recovering ex-Evertonian? You can never tell with the ‘fragile one’. But I’ve gone for him anyway in place of the ‘knackered-looking one’ (Yaya if you hadn't guessed). Jack is needed also to protect Garcia a little too…


Rarely does the ‘big man’ grab his chance and make something of a 'start' but Aguero looked like he needed a rest when he came off against Swansea. We need the little Argentinean firing on all cylinders on 11th May so, for me, not even a bench seat for our Premier League title hero; give Guidetti a place there instead.

So, the team to face West Bromwich Albion:

4-4-2 (with 2 defence-minded midfielders)








K. Toure

Although I’d hate to see Zaba injured (or not 100%) for the Final, I’d like to think that the almost ‘indestructible one’ can run through another couple of brick walls for us before his well-earned, summer break.

Likewise Kompany, but if we have a soft middle against W.B.A., Lukaku will kill us (and we’ve already weakened the defence somewhat with my inclusion of Kolarov)!

Milner, like Zaba, can just run & run.

Over the season, Nasri doesn’t deserve a rest and still has a bit more 'proving' to do before the summer in my opinion.

Tevez WAS rested for the most part against Swansea and a goal or two against West Brom will do his confidence a world of good before the Wigan game.

A team good enough at home to beat West Brom? I’d say so...and would hope so. I would hope so because, although already-relegated Reading and then Norwich City at home LOOK like 4 to 6 points in the bag, we should be a little wary of them both.

Reading are playing with an, ‘Oh well, we’re down; lets just go out and enjoy football’ attitude and have just ‘smashed’ Fulham 4-2 away. The fixture against us is also their last home game of the season…

Norwich at home? Well that SHOULD be 3 points to us but should they require any points to stay up by the time they arrive at The Etihad, then we can expect 'kitchen sink an’ all'! Q.P.R. - in the corresponding fixture last season - didn’t exactly give us an easy ride, did they?

Y. Toure

So, Roberto has his work ‘cut out’ for him; plenty to cast his eye over and juggle about over the coming hours and days…


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