Fairly standard, pre-match blog posting this one - it’s currently a busy time for me with family illness I’m sorry to say.
Mum not too well but improving and our little Westie was diagnosed with-needing a cruciate ligament replacement ‘op’ (a week on Monday), as my almost 12-year old little’n decided he was closer to 2-years of age; and went from 0 to 60MPH in 4.7 seconds after a cat last Sunday.
His football career is likely to be over now…
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
4-5-1 come 4-2-3-1:
Hart to start, of course, and surely…surely Vinny too for this one, whatever the theories as to why he didn’t play against neither Bournemouth nor Sevilla. If so, I think Mangala will 'get the nod' to partner him; Kolarov likely to be fit enough for this one and be, therefore, first choice despite very good covering from Sagna and Zaba on the right of defence.
‘Same again’ pairing in the middle of the park; ‘same again’ attacking trio ahead of them and ‘go again’ Bony up front too. Some of it might well be forced-through-injury but that consistency in team selection isn’t a bad thing at all…
Strong defensive line-up on the bench and, so, if we can ‘nail ‘em’ in the first 60 to 70 minutes then we have good options to build a frustrating "wall" if the game suits us to do so. Ahead of the back-up keeper; in Sagna, Otamendi, Demichelis & Fernando we have more than adequate cover at Left-back, right-back, central defence and in defensive midfield positions. Further forward we have young, exciting, creative & goal-scoring threats in the form of Patrick Roberts and Kelechi Iheanacho.
Notable absences: Gael Clichy (injured), Fabian Delph (injured), Samir Nasri (injured), David Silva (injured), Sergio Aguero (injured)…and Sam, my Westie, (injured).
Update on those injuries, as I understand it…
- Gael is due back in training next week
- Fabian is due back in training next week also
- Samir should be 10 days to a fortnight from 23.10.2015
- David may be back in light training next week; possibly / more likely the following week
- Sergio may be back in training W/C Monday 23.11.2015 or W/C 30.11.2015
- Sam is out for 7 weeks minimum, which includes operation ‘waiting time’ and then 2 weeks intense rest, followed by a minimum of 4 weeks non-cat or bird chasing rest / recovery time…
Result? Well according to the hippo-headed one (I saw that likeness-suggestion posted somewhere the other week, laughed a lot and just had to use it) last week they were going to beat us and now, he garbled yesterday, we are favourites to win. Whatever…you incomprehensible ****.
It’s all about the midfield for me – I think this is strongest area for BOTH teams. Each have it in them to be flaky at the back (this is why I think playing Vinny is crucial to give us ‘an edge’) and both have goals in them from several areas of the pitch.
Put another way – and without Silva & Aguero – this one, for me, has “draw” written all over it. The one who dominates the midfield, though, has it within them to change that prediction…