Has it really come to this; is our Premier League form SO erratic & inconsistent that I have to put a headline about playing the league’s most-dire side at home and use the word “should” when talking about a win?
Yep, I’m afraid it has…
Every Blue I’ve spoken to since the midweek Liverpool defeat and jaded performance has said something along the lines of, “Oh…we should beat these on Saturday no problem”. This COULD be a problem IF our players have the same attitude.
The Midlands outfit might look like one of the worst sides the Premier League has seen in the last 10 years or more; they might have only won 3 games out of 28 all season and they might be 8 points from safety (just goes to show you how bad some of the others are if it’s “only” 8 points). But if our players ‘rock up’ at the Etihad this afternoon with that, ‘We’ve already won this one’ attitude then this could be one embarrassing hammer blow to any slim chances we might still have of putting-in a title challenge.
I don’t THINK they will – let’s hope not, hey?
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
Joe ‘between the sticks’ and ‘same two’ partnering in the centre of defence. I keep expecting Aleks to be rotated with Gael…and keep getting it wrong [in my predictions]. If you throw enough darts at a dartboard, then you’ll eventually hit the bull - I’m going for him to get the left-back slot at home and Bacary to be on the opposite side of defence for some ‘fresh legs’.
Little chance for fresh legs in the middle of midfield at the moment – Fernando & Fernandinho likely to be ‘in there’ again. Yaya should return to the starting 11 after an ankle knock; David likely to be on the right (unless our manager does a right-sided Fernandinho trick again) and Raheem likely to be given an opportunity to shake-off a bad night at the office in midweek.
Sergio up front again.
'Wembley Willy' the back-up keeper; Gael, Pablo & Eliaquim the defensive insurance. Attacking replacement options to come in the form of right-winger Jesus and two strikers in Wilfried & Kelechi.
Notable absences: Martin Demichelis (not selected), Kevin De Bruyne (injured), Fabian Delph (injured) and Samir Nasri (injured).
Do I agree with Pellegrini’s (predicted) line-up?
Not fully – I think at home to these lot I’d like to see Iheanacho in for Toure in more of a 4-4-1-1; with Fernando & Fernandinho not deviating from a defensive, workmanlike role whilst Kolarov & Sagna ‘push-on in support’. Other than that, I’m fine with this.
Result? Simply put, this has to be a home win; that’s what I’m going for…and it would be nice to have a big scoreline one too, to give us all a little ‘league cheer’.
Expected weather conditions during the game: Mostly clear, blue-sky sunshine; 6’C but feeling closer to 0’C in a brisk, Northerly wind.