Such is the burden of success, hey? J As we gain
more and more games-in-hand in the Premier League;
we continue our endeavours in yet another domestic cup competition…before ANOTHER cup game in Europe at
on Wednesday. Barcelona
I wasn’t happy that we’d been given the Sunday, 4:05pm KO in the quarter final of the F.A. Cup. No allowance whatsoever seems to have been made that we’re playing one of best teams in the world just 3 days later; having to factor-in recovery time, travelling and training. The culprits? BT Sport – yes one of our flippin’ main partner-sponsors!
Soon after the date announcement a spokesman for BT Sport
said that all ‘interested parties’ are happy with the date…and this, they said,
included the Manager, Manuel Pellegrini. Indeed,
not long afterwards in a pre-match interview, the Chilean was questioned about
the fixture date and he…said…he was okay
with it. It looked to me more like he was
simply ‘toeing the party line’… He just CAN’T be happy with it when they could
have played it on the Saturday instead.
|BT City Square at the Etihad|
Not that I was ever naïve to the fact; but TV most definitely rules these days…
Still suffering with severe headaches / now whiplash-like symptoms, I’ll get straight to it if you don’t mind…
Hart is mostly likely to get his place back despite being, probably, the one ‘between the sticks’ against
; Pantilimon quite rightly having played in the League Cup final last
I think he’ll go with
- I personally will be please but I’m also guessing that Pellegrini with go
with Kolarov against the Spanish giants. Demichelis is suspended for the forthcoming
midweek game and so I’m guessing that our manager will, once again, plumb for
the Argentinean ahead of Lescott against Clichy Wigan.
Lescott SHOULD get ‘the call’ in . I’d
love to think that Zaba would get a rest on Sunday and that Micah will be up to the task. Sadly I just can’t see
either to be honest. I can’t even see
Richards making the bench… Spain
I’m guessing that he’ll go with the 4 'usual suspects' across the middle; of course he MIGHT give Garcia a start instead of Fernandinho...he might even choose Milner or Navas to start in order to give Yaya a rest ahead of Wednesday's game.
Up front? Well here’s a bit of a poser. Although in his pre-match press conference he doesn’t list Dzeko as being injured - and nor does he mention the fact that Negredo is, apparently, still shoulder-sore and not quite 100% - I think he’ll go with his best 2 pairing against the Latics and stick Edin on the bench. Simply put, Alvaro has had a considerable rest recently and with regards to Sergio; I’m sure Manuel will look at this game as another fitness-comeback-game ahead of our trial in
If there is a doubt about Dzeko, I wonder
if he’ll go for EDS striker Devante Cole…or go for 'no substitute striker' at all and
stick Marcos Lopes on the bench instead? Camp Nou
Result? Under Uwe Rosler Wigan are a very tough outfit indeed – only two defeats in 17 games and 5 wins from 5 in all competitions is testament to that! Take these lightly – even at home – and we will regret it for sure. However, address this game seriously, as I’m sure we will, and we should see these off. ANOTHER trip to Wembley [for the semi-final] awaits!