Although I fully intend to do my usual pre-match Blog-posting, giving a ‘Pellegrini-predicted line-up’ (Saturday or Sunday morning); I just thought I’d very briefly 'bang out' my own thoughts / best possible team to face our neighbours from M16.
Keeper ‘picks himself’.
Fernando – and not Fernandinho – to ‘dig in’, protect and break up opposition play as much as possible. And slightly ahead of him, the energy and much-needed determination & character of James Milner in a kind of duel role; assisting Fernando a little but also adding much needed attacking impetus too.
Ahead of those 2 is a, sort of, attacking midfield 3 that includes an advanced Sergio Aguero behind his “striking partner” Wilfried Bony.
Now I did say post-Palace that when Nasri came on for Navas, although the French midfielder played well for the short time he was on the pitch, he did look like he wanted to kill someone as he was preparing to cross the white line. We all saw his ‘heads gone’ moment against Barcelona a few weeks back and now, it turns out, he has-indeed had a ‘spat’ within the club; not being happy with Pellegrini for dropping him for the Leicester City game.
I’ve gone for him though; I hope his head is right for the game and that he doesn’t do something silly in the heat of a Trafford / Manchester derby and have picked him on his cameo appearance merit in London last Monday.
Also in my little “what if” section – IF Bony hasn’t recovered from his training ankle knock then shift Aguero into his slot and stick Yaya in there; hoping like hell that he’s up for the fight for a rare occasion this season.
It may look a bit narrow to some but away at Manyoo that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Also, with the support of James Milner; Samir, Sergio and David can & will float around and move out wide when require.
It’s a very fluid attack that allows for 2 dangerous strikers to be on the pitch without compromising numbers in midfield – a very attacking formation in my opinion and one, which, is also solid defensively.
Keeper cover on the bench in the form of Willy Caballero, of course; Kolarov to provide a differing outlet on the left if needed and pacy, central defensive cover with Mangala too.
Potential game & pace changers in the form of ‘big-game-experienced’ Frank Lampard, Yaya to provide a fresher (from the bench) goal threat and Navas, at least, to provide some dangerous pace as ‘the oppo’ tires. Jovetic as a striking option…and no Dzeko!
There you have it – go get ‘em Blues!