Friday, 25 August 2017

One team desperate to get off the mark…

…versus a team eager to put behind them the injustice of having-to-have-shared points with an undeserved Everton side last Monday. 


Should make for a good Premier League clash at a compact ground!

Is our formation hurting us?

Regular readers will know that I have raised an uncertain eyebrow in recent weeks / postings about Pep’s decision to go with 3 central defenders and 2 wingbacks. My biggest gripe is that it often leaves very attacking talent in the form of Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling on the bench…and that’s before the return of Ilkay Gundogan or any possible signing of Alexis Sanchez or similar-attacking player by the end of the summer transfer window!

And I know we have Benjamin Mendy close to a return – a perfect player for this system I would think – but in the meantime, Danilo didn’t exactly look too comfortable going forward on the left in our first game at Brighton and so for our home game opener; our manager tried, as he did against West Ham in pre-season, to use the attacking talent of Leroy Sane in a wing-back role. As it did against The Hammers, it largely failed again against The Toffees…

I certainly don’t HATE 3-5-2 / 3-5-1-1 and, in fact, I think we do look very comfortable and very much ‘in control’.

But not only do I think that the system shackles some of our attacking wingers when asked to perform the half-defensive wing role (when they’re not sat on the bench that is) but in some ways, we have 6 defenders on the pitch; when you consider the role Fernandinho is being asked to play in-between the 3 central defenders and the 2, more advanced midfielders.

And there’s another point. Why has pre-season-impressive Yaya Toure been on the bench and not, instead, spraying pinpoint-accurate balls around to his colleagues; as he is, in general, more on the ‘front foot’ than Fernandinho often is (no detriment meant towards the Brazilian whatsoever)?

I dunno…there’s a very long season ahead, of course, with 2 very talented players yet to come into the reckoning. But it just doesn’t feel quite right at the moment…and that’s despite a very professional ‘job done’ at the Amex Stadium and another dominating and very high-spirited performance against many odds on the night that we deserved to win at the Etihad.

v AFC Bournemouth

Vitality Stadium

Predicted line-up, subs and outcome
(Number correct from starting line-up in the last game: 9/11).




__________D.Silva_____________De Bruyne________




Subs: Bravo, Mendy, Mangala, Foden, B. Silva, Sane, Sterling.

Notable absences: Kyle Walker (suspended for 1 game), Fabian Delph & Ilkay Gundogan on their way back from injuries.

Little time; no analysis, that’s it for this posting…

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

If he picks Toure form the start then I’m happy for him to go 3-5-1-1 again.

Result? Will our hosts get their first goal of the season? Perhaps…but it’s a City win for me and, therefore, a “not bad” 7 points from 9 start to the season.

Last season’s, corresponding pre-match prediction and result…
Prediction: Win
Result: Win

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