Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Prediction time

I did it last season, here are the results and so it’s ‘neck on the block' time again…

Our fixtures & predicted outcomes

Newcastle United (A)                          W
Liverpool (H)                                       D
Stoke City (H)                                      W

Arsenal (A)                                          D
Chelsea (H)                                          W
Hull City (A)                                        W

Aston Villa (A)                                     W
Tottenham Hotspur (H)                       W
West Ham United (A)                           W

Manyoo (H)                                           D
Queens Park Rangers (A)                    D
Swansea City (H)                                 W
Southampton (A)                                 W

Sunderland (A)                                    D

Everton (H)                                          W
Leicester City (A)                                W
Crystal Palace (H)                               W
West Bromwich Albion (A)                 W
Burnley (H)                                          W

Sunderland (H)                                    W
Everton (A)                                          L
Arsenal (H)                                          W
Chelsea (A)                                          L

Hull City
(H)                                        W
Stoke City (A)                                      D
Newcastle United (H)                          W
Liverpool (A)                                        L

Leicester City
(H)                                W
Burnley (A)                                          W
West Bromwich Albion (H)                 W

Crystal Place
(A)                                 D
Manyoo (A)                                          L
West Ham United (H)                          W
Aston Villa (H)                                     W

Tottenham Hotspur (A)                       D
Queen Park Rangers (H)                     W
Swansea City (A)                                 W
Southampton (H)                                 W

Win: 26
Draw: 8
Lose: 4
That would leave us with, ironically, 86 points; the exact same number as our title-winning season last season. Is that enough to defend our title? Well I would say that with the competition being even stronger this season the other challengers will, I’m sure, take more points off each other...and so I’m gonna say, “Yes”; City to win the league again this season!

Minus Pantilimon and in different shirts of course...

Where we drop points

What might be quite striking to you when looking at the predictions at the start of the season is that I’ve given us “just” 8 point from a possible 12 in the opening 4 games. Oooo…it’ll have many crying out, “It’s all over for City!”, that’s for sure.

With extended breaks for some of our main players and with Liverpool being right up for early revenge; I can just see this one being a real tuffy for us. I’ve got a strong feeling that we’ll share the points at our first home game.

Arsenal away too is a hell of a fixture to have so early on. The Gunners are notoriously quick & good starters and buoyed by the signing of Sanchez; we’ll need to play our ‘A’ game to get a point at the Emirates that’s for sure.

But because I’ve resisted the urge to go all ‘new-season-optimistic’ with my early games predictions; this is partly why I feel that an 86-point, title-winning tally is a realistic and fairly accurate one.

A good run of 5 back-to-back wins to follow – including a home win to Chelsea (we’ll have got some 'traction' by then) – sees us then face Manyoo and their new manager. Like Liverpool at home we are certainly capable of beating them of course…but I’m going for them to spoil our winning run ever so slightly by taking a point back West with them to the borough of Trafford.

This’ll soon have the pundits crying, once more, “Disaster!”; as I think old ‘arry will then ‘do a number’ on us on the compact pitch of Loftus Road by limiting us to just another point.

But fear not my Blue friends; we’re about to go on a 9-game unbeaten run. Only ffffff…lippin’ Sunderland will, once again I’m quite sure, frustrate us at the Stadium of Light. A point-blip in an otherwise excellent winning spell for us.

The icy season of January, however, might see us slip up a little bit.

Aside from quick revenge on the Black Cats in our first game of 2015 – along with a good home win against now-fading, inconsistent and injury laden Arsenal - Everton away this-season-round will most likely come back to bite us. Chelsea on their own patch too will probably get revenge for their earlier defeat to us at the Etihad.

January sees us gain just 6 points from a possible 12.

February too is a mixed bag. The two home games see 6 points but I’m going for Stoke to ‘do a Stoke’ and irritate us on their own patch. And like Chelsea, I think Liverpool won’t ‘slip up’ this time.

Happy new year, hey..?


And beware the ides of March my little opposition friends…

March - to the end of the season - will bring with just one defeat, two draws and 8 wins. Put another way, that’s 26 from the final 33 points, which will push us to that magical and title-winning 86!

There ya go…no need to turn up at the Etihad this season; no need to turn on the TV nor the radio. You don’t even have to buy a newspaper OR look at the Internet…apart from my Blog of course! It’s all done for you in one nice, neat package.

The cups

I wanted the League Cup last season, I really did. Why? Well, simply put, I’d just not seen us win it before (since I’ve been a season ticket holder) and I wanted it WAY more than the F.A. Cup, which I’d seen us win under Mancini.

In fact, and if this warms your cockles, I actually predicted us winning the league AND League Cup last season…and didn’t put a flippin’ bet on!

But this time I think our Engineer will put slightly less resource into this competition and unless our second & third string players pull something special out of the hat; I think we’ll go out after a few rounds…perhaps getting to the quarter final at best.

And although I do believe our manager when he often comes out with the statement that he wants to win every game and every competition – something we were close to doing competition-wise at one, fairly advanced stage last season – ‘the quarters’ is probably about right for this cup-competition this time round.

The F.A. Cup, however, is one I expect us to do well in this season. Pellegrini will want this one ‘in his locker’ too, I’m sure. So I’m going for a bold ‘finalists’ with this one. Whether we’ll win it, of course, depends on who we come up against and what shape we’re in by then.

But it’s ‘Wembley here we come’ (again) for this one!

Right…the Champions League. Regular readers will possibly know that I see ‘all things domestic’ as being the more important one for us (still) at our stage of development. It certainly doesn’t pass me by the importance of this competition; ‘the big names’ all want to play in teams that compete well in this one and, of course, this is where most of the money and world-wide prestige comes from.

And, yes, we are getting close to being regulars at the top, TOP table of European football.

However, the great teams are consistent at home first and although 1 F.A. Cup, a League Cup and 2 league titles in 4 seasons is AMAZING in the life of any long-suffering Manchester City fan; back-to-back league titles and continuing success in England is what we should be striving for first & foremost in my humble opinion.

Makes me wonder why I’ve opted out (for the first ever time) of the League & F.A. Cup schemes and have stayed in the Champions League scheme this season coming…

Having said that, we must continue to be strong in Europe of course and I would fully expect us to progress from the group stages. Success in Europe this season coming looks like this for me:

-        Finish TOP of the group this time

-        Progress beyond the first of our 2-legged knock-out stage games.

Whatever we do after that should be seen as an exciting bonus…and it SHOULD’T, Messrs Pellegrini, Soriano, Begiristain & Khaldoon, get in the way of our defence of the Premier League title!

So, there you have it folks. League title winners, a Wembley, F.A. Cup final to enjoy and reaching the quarter final of the Champions League. Achievable and an optimistic view without getting too carried away with ourselves (the Manchester City fan way).

Will you have that? I certainly will…

No comments:

Post a Comment