Saturday, 23 November 2013

Just like busses!

You don’t go to a home game for 55 days and then 3 come at once! Having (very unusually) missed both Norwich City and CSKA Moscow after a month of a away games throughout October, all of a sudden I’m faced with 3 home games in just yer 8 days. Wonderful!


Final moan…

It can’t just be me who feels deprived of club football - of course it was my (joint) decision to go away on a small break and miss the Norwich game and it was me who bought a dog who is so terrified of fireworks that ‘dog minding’ took priority over the CSKA game. But these dammed international breaks! Fact: City have played just 11 League games as we near the end of November; England aren’t far behind with 6 in the same amount of time. Someone told me recently that this is how it always is [going into a World Cup]; perhaps so but it feels far worse to me this time round.

So let’s Ashley Young dive straight into tomorrow’s game

Spurs were one of the teams I thought would be a real threat this season. And, of course, they’re no mugs; lying as they do one point and one place above us in 7th after more than a quarter of the season gone.
But, fortunately for us and just LIKE us, they are just as frustratingly inconsistent and unpredictable this season. Ooops…there are those word again! They’ve brought in a heck of a lot of talent around about the same time as the sale of Gareth Bale and for that we have to be wary. We certainly have to be ‘on our game’ on Sunday.
Spurs too have a nasty habit of peeing me off even on our home patch - I’ve never liked them (probably ever since the 1981 F.A. Cup Final games) and they have a horrible knack of ‘repeat offending’. Another moan about the international breaks is that you never know how your team is going to perform after most of them spending the best part of a fortnight apart – but I suppose all teams are in the same boat there…
Good news is that apart from the 3 we all knew about – Vinny, David and Stevan – it would appear that we have a full squad to pick from to face Tottenham. Apparently Nastasic and Fernandinho have both fully trained and would appear to be fully back in the reckoning for tomorrow vital clash.
So, this is my predicted line-up for the 1:30pm (BST) KO:

A narrow win for City. They don’t score many but they’re very mean at the back too.
Surely with Silva missing Navas has to start at home. However, I suppose there’s a decent argument that Milner could start instead; adding more nitty-gritty work-rate to our engine room, especially as Spurs might opt to ‘pack the midfield’ away from home. Using James would probably narrow us slightly [if he was asked to ‘dig in’ with Yaya and the Brazilian]; meaning that Aguero might sit deeper and to the right with Nasri in support in more of a 4-3-3 formation. But I think he’ll go with Jesus for this one.
Of course speculation is rife about the goalie situation and although I’ve gone with Costel once again, my spider sense is tingling just ever so slightly that Pellegrini might spring a bit of a surprise and, perhaps, stick the England man back in. It’s 50/50’ish but, as I say, I’m edging that he’ll stick with the Romanian who, after all, has done nothing wrong to deserve being dropped.
I'm assuming that Joleon is still gonna be out of favour and SURELY Jack will now get 'the nod' ahead of Javi Garcia on the bench.

Full steam ahead!

With no Champions League worries now that we’ve qualified (assuming that Manuel has resigned himself to finishing a respectful second to Bayern) we can go ‘all out’ tomorrow and for the foreseeable domestic fixtures. Footy – PROPER footy that is – is back with a bang! Have you seen December’s fixtures! 9 games in 28 days!
A quick W, D, L prediction then to see where we might lay as we head into 2014 with an away game at Swansea City on 1st January.
Tottenham Hotspur                 (H)       -           Win
Viktoria Plzen                          (H)       -           Win
Swansea City                          (H)       -           Win
West Bromwich Albion           (A)       -           Win (Stevan available?)
Southampton                          (A)       -           Draw (David back?)
Bayern Munich                       (A)       -           Lose
Arsenal                                    (H)       -           Win (Vincent back?)
Leicester City                          (A)       -           Win
Fulham                                    (A)       -           Win
Liverpool                                 (H)       -           Draw
Crystal Palace                        (H)       -           Win
20 more points in the league (probably finishing 2013 in 2nd or 3rd place), in the Champions League knock-out stages, of course, and through to the semi-final of the League Cup. That would do for me at around the half-way stage. God knows what'll happen from January onwards though; according to the gutter, rumour-mongering press over the last 2 weeks most of our players are set to leave us in the next transfer window!
Right, let’s ‘Google map to remind myself of how to get there tomorrow…

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