Monday, 15 May 2017

Bye-bye Zabba. Hello again Champions League?

Waving goodbye to an absolutely City hero will be an emotional one tomorrow evening. I posted this on-line the other day that sums up how I feel about the fella: 


“If he continues to play on elsewhere for a season or two, some club is gonna get one HELL of a free-transfer right-back with a big, big heart!


"In my all-time 'City 11'", is the biggest accolade I can give him. 


Legend - come back when you've hung-up your boots in ANY capacity Zabba”. 


What a star!


But, as we say farewell to our Argentine battler, rumours are that we’ll be seeing both Yaya Toure & Jesus Navas next season; as both have impressed Pep enough to possibly earn another year contract. Looking back at both the troubles that have surrounded Yaya and the frustrating lack of ‘end product’ over the years from our winger-come-covering right-back, Jesus; it leaves me repeating those famous footballing words, “It’s a funny old game”…

Pressure is still on!

Basically, we need to win one and at least draw the other to be sure of 4th place. That might even be enough to see us finish 3rd…but we’ll-then be reliant on ‘goal difference’ with Liverpool. Win both of our remaining matches and we’ll definitely finish 3rd; leaving the Merseyside club to scrap it out with Arsenal for the final Champions League spot now that Manyoo are ‘out of the picture’ in the league (all eggs in one Europa-final basket for them).

v West Bromwich Albion

Etihad Stadium

Fluid 4-1-4-1:







Subs: Gunn, Clichy, Stones, Toure, Nolito, Sterling, Aguero.

Some changes I think seeing as we played “just” 3 ½ days earlier (compared to WBA’s 4-day break)? Perhaps...

Aleks to come in for Gael; Nicholas & Vinny to ‘go again’ and Pablo to have a ‘farewell start’, I would say so.

Fernando might see a rare start tomorrow evening and ahead of him, Leroy, David & Kevin to continue to provide attacking, creative support and joined, I think, by contract-hopeful Jesus.

Gabriel to get another lone-striking role.

Angus as back-up keeper; Clichy ‘drops down’ and should be joined by John; who has now recovered from injury. Yaya has a little break, I’m guessing; Nolito, Raheem & Sergio in there as reserve attacking options.

Notable absences: Outfield player with gloves on (injured for the rest of the season), Bacary Sagna (not selected), Fabian Delph (Injured for the rest of the season), Fernandinho (not selected / rested), Ilkay Gundogan (injured for the rest of the season) & Kelechi Iheanacho (not selected).

Do I agree with Pep’s (predicted) line-up?

Fine with that.

Result? Even before the game that took Champions Chelsea (well done) 80’ish minutes to break the Midlands outfit down last Friday, I was going to say that these are a physically-strong side; organised very well by Tony Pulis. They offer little of an attacking threat but we’ll have to be ‘at our best’ to breach their defensive midfield / defence itself.

But I think we will – more than once – and with that; this is a vital home win for us.

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