League Cup tonight – straight to it then…
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
4-5-1 come 4-2-3-1:
So difficult to predict the line-up for this one with Manuel wanting to use a youngster or two; wanting also to attempt to rest a few first-teamers who have played a lot of games, wanting also, of course, to progress in this competition…but also limited in some of those respects with EDS midfielders George Evans on loan to Walsall until 20.11.2015 and Bruno Zuculini likewise at Middlesbrough until 26.11.2015.
Although it might give most of us ‘the jitters’ seeing him in-between the sticks; if Willy can’t get a game at home in the 4th round of the League Cup then what’s the point of having a back-up keeper at all?! Ahead of him Kolarov will have to ‘go again’; Mangala & Demichelis likely to come in for the impressive [on Sunday] Otamendi & Kompany and Zabaleta, not used on Sunday, to swap like-for-like with Sagna.
I can’t see how Fernandinho & Yaya are able to sit this one out / rest before Norwich at home on Saturday, although at least Yaya was withdrawn 20 minutes before the end of the game against Manyoo. I expect at least one of these to be withdrawn tonight either at or not long after half time; possibly even both by the time we reach mid-way-through the second half, depending…
With Sterling only having played 55 minutes at Scaffold Trafford and Navas, his replacement on the day, having only played 38; I can see both starting tonight. Making up the trio of attacking midfielders is likely to be Patrick Roberts. Although left-footed Pat does tend to prefer to be on the right, I understand, and if not then ‘off the striker’ and down the middle. We might, therefore, see some swapping around with him and Raheem…
Surely we’ll see a start for Kelechi Iheanacho (looking forward to that if so…) and I am going for us to play him in this formation rather than alongside Wilfried Bony in a 4-4-2. Palace are, let’s not forget in this League Cup game, a Premier League side with players that can hurt you badly on the break…and I can’t see Alan Pardew weakening his team TOO much for tonight. We need to be guarded - our ‘change of guards’ need to be ‘on it’.
You’d expect a strong bench in these circumstances and it is.
As he did in the last round I expect Richard Wright to get a rare ‘bench spot’, giving Joe a complete – and again “rare” – night off. Bacary, Nicolas, Vincent and Fernando make up a very experience & defensive security unit from the side; *
Manu Garcia Kevin De Bruyne and Wilfried our only creative /
attacking options. We need the ‘first 11’ to ‘do the biz’
Notable absences: Gael Clichy (injured / on way back), Fabian Delph (injured / on way back), Samir Nasri (injured), David Silva (injured / on way back), Sergio Aguero (injured).
Result? If this one is to be won in 90 minutes then I think it’ll be City who’ll be the victors. However, if this is taken to extra time and, perhaps even, penalties; then all things & personnel considered it could well be Palace who progress.