“ I ”? Yeah…simply put, it sadly stands for “injuries” again. Huhhhh…
Brief one this (due to ongoing family-illness issues).
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
4-1-4-1 come 4-5-1 come 4-3-3:
Huh…perhaps the title should have been “D” for “decimated”!
Hart to start.
With limited options available, the right-back slot (head-ready or not) picks itself…as does the central-two pairing. Being with so little choice; I’m guessing, of course, that with his ONLY ‘option area’ at the back, Pellegrini might-then-choose to go with the more-defensive of our left-backs in Gael; despite not much ‘game time’ [through injury] and, which, moves ever-present Aleks to the bench.
Surely it’s the ‘midfield 3’ that not only worked so very well against Sevilla but also helps to protect the not-necessarily first choice defence. And having worked so well in Spain also; I’m guessing that our manager will start with Sterling & Navas.
Aguero the ‘Lone Ranger’ up top.
Joining the back-up keeper and Kolarov in ‘the 7’ on the side is a line-up that really paints a picture of our current injuries; with EDS’ Maffeo & Garcia alongside young-summer-signing Roberts. Delph ‘in there’ for some experienced, central midfield cover and being a better ‘impact player’ I think, so far, from the bench than Raheem; Kevin De Bruyne sits on the side [at first] as our main ‘game changer’ if needed.
- Vincent Kompany (injured – likely to miss this weekend’s game v Southampton)
- Eliaquim Mangala (injured – most certain to miss this weekend’s game)
- Pablo Zabaleta (injured – no indication of a return date)
- Samir Nasri (injured and out until March / April 2016)
- David Silva (injured – reasonable chance of taking part in Saturday’s game against The Saints)
- Wilfried Bony (injured – good chance of being available at the Etihad in 3-days’ time)
- Kelechi Iheanacho (not selected to be in the squad for Champions League games in the group stage)
Result? A performance like we saw against Sevilla and we can ‘take these’, although some of this may depend on how Juventus might try to exploit the lack of pace of Martin Demichelis…or how efficiently we protect / adjust to that potential weak point.
It could well be a proud win this one…but I’m going for a draw, which’ll mean a home win against Borussia Monchengladbach in our final group game at the Etihad on 8th December 2015 will see us finish the table top regardless.