And, I’m pleased to be able to say, I am going this afternoon after being told weeks ago that I had to attend a 3-day course over 3 Saturdays starting today (before starting some voluntary work for a local charity) only for them to be cancelled and rearranged for 3 Wednesdays instead.
Crazy few days too, where I got to the Etihad Campus area last Tuesday at 2:15pm to watch the Under 19s v Borussia Monchengladbach before the first team game, only for the latter to be called off due to HORRENDOUS rain, wind, thunder & lightening; a decision, which, then allowed me to sell our tickets to our nephew and his dad (at a reduced cost of course) for the following night as compensation for my Nephew not-now being able to go to Bournemouth today with my wife and in my place, as was promised the other week. At least he got to see an excellent performance and good, 4-0 win against the German side…
Having done no post-match blog-posting after either the Manyoo & ‘glabach, games I did want to waffle on about those for a short time first but, with ‘time ticking’, I’ll just get straight to previewing today’s game.
Predicted starting 11, subs and outcome.
Fluid 4-5-1 come 4-3-3 come 4-2-4:
Some room for error in my prediction here – there’s scope for some players to be rested / rotated and others to come in fresh; along with some ‘definitely outs’ and a 50/50.
Bravo to continue his Premier League education between the sticks and building that relationship with the defence.
‘Swapsies’ I think at the left & right flanks of our back line. Gael & Bacary didn’t play midweek - Gael for longer than that with Aleks being ‘reborn’ under Pep – and so I think they’ll come in today at home to the South coast side. It’s ‘go again’ for impressive & improving pairing Nicholas & John.
In the absence of a few central & defensive midfielders being out with minor niggles; Fernandinho will have to start again, I think, and also in a more holding / defensive midfield position. Ahead of him…surely with injuries & a slight doubt, which I’ll come onto soon, Yaya will get a shot at a starting place this afternoon? We’ll soon see of course. Kevin, like Fernandinho, to start again too but "not used" / "hardly used" on Wednesday night; I think both Nolito & Leroy will be in ‘the 11’ for this one.
Kelechi in for the absent Sergio.
Willy the keeper cover on the bench along with rotated pair Aleks & Pablo. Youngster Aleix should get a bench spot today and I’m going for Pep to be slightly cautious with Ilkay and not risk 2 games in 3 days for the recently-returned-from-injury, German international. I expect him to play some part today though. Jesus & Raheem the wide-attacking options from ‘the 7’ on the side.
Notable absences: Vincent Kompany (returning from injury / in training / being tested), Fabian Delph (injured – slight niggle / knock), Fernando (injured – slight niggle / knock), David Silva (injured – slight niggle) & Sergio Aguero (suspended for one last Premier League game, followed by a very last suspension in the League Cup this coming Wednesday).
Do I agree with Pep’s (predicted) line-up?
No complaints from me there.
Result? As Pep keeps on saying, we have to work for our result whoever they may be. I respect what Bournemouth have achieve with limited resources and, in Eddie Howe, “we” have a potentially good and exciting manager on “our” hands; a career to keep an eye on for sure.
But we are playing so, SO very well at the moment that I just can’t see anything other than a home victory and one, perhaps, by a good margin too; increasing that already-decent & leading goal difference.
Expected weather conditions during the game: Bit of a Northerly breeze; bit of cloud, bit of sunshine and a very pleasant [for mid-September] 62F. Perfect footy weather.