Tuesday, 26 December 2017

I suppose I shouldn’t moan…

First of all, I KNOW I said I wouldn’t be doing a pre-Newcastle Blog-posting and although I knew there was gonna be a 4-day gap between the Bournemouth home game and our trip to the North East, I just didn’t think I’d get around to a posting over the festive period. 


But why ARE we playing on Wednesday night when all other Premier League teams were given a traditional, Boxing Day schedule? That’s what Boxing Day is all about, in this country at least; getting out from-having been in the house the previous day, blowing away the cobwebs and taking in a match! 


But, then again, I suppose our players will have-had an extra day’s rest before we face The Magpies…not that they’ll be desperate for some ‘time out’ after they strolled to victory against The Cherries last Saturday.

A word or two on last Saturday’s game…

As soon as I got home from the Bournemouth match, I text some fellow City-fan-mates and said I didn’t know whether to class that as a perfectly executed training session against a team we should be beating or as a masterclass performance.

Apart from a slightly concerning period where we seemed to be taking it far too easy on the visitors for the last 10 or so minutes of the first half, it was a ‘walk in the park’ for our lads! The second half in particular was both a lesson in how to retain the ball and a pure joy to watch to the very last, brilliant second.

A brief comment on a few players does lead me to say how strange it when people watch the same game and yet have very different views.

Firstly, I thought the apparently unsettled Sergio Aguero looked a little lost and unable to get fully involved in the attacking play in the first half and although, okay yes, he improved a lot as the game progressed - scoring two very good headers as well as having a hand in another goal - I didn’t think for one moment that he’d have been given the stadium’s MotM award. Personally, I’d have given it to the ever-improving and surprise package of the season, Fabian Delph; a player who has proved to be a most important member of the team in many ways with new-signing Benjamin Mendy out for most of the season. He had a marvellous game last weekend.

The Manchester Evening News too made a quote about Vincent Kompany in their player ratings piece which read, “His passing was also sharp and quick, giving City an edge going forward”. I actually turned to the fella next to me at one stage in the second half and said, “I’m don’t want to pick something negative out of such a fine, dominant performance but Vinny has made 3 really poor passes today that another team might have punished.

Huh…just goes to show you - same match and 2 very differing viewpoints / ‘memories of’.

Another very brief word on another game…

Going back even further, wasn’t the League Cup victory of Leicester City ‘justice done’?! Cheating, diving-in-the-97th-minute sod…

Demarai Gray fools the ref with 1 minute to go of normal time.
Shame that Phil Foden picked up an injury in that game at a time where we have SUCH a huge gap at the top of the Premier League (13 as I’m prepping this piece). What I mean is, as we head into another period of various cup matches, Phil and other EDS players could have started to get some Premier League time under their belts and give some of the senior fellas a much-needed break. Hope he recovers well and soon.

Bristol City up next in the 2-legged semi-final.

v Newcastle United.

St. James' Park

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

Fluid 4-5-1 / 4-3-3:



____________D. Silva_______De Bruyne____________





I’ve got the feeling that with a full 4 days between the last game and this one that our manager might not feel like he needs to change much, even though the next game comes just 3-½ days later.

So, Ederson continues in between the sticks and ahead of him I think it’ll be the same 4 of Fabian, Vincent, Nicholas & Kyle (Vinny benefiting from those 4 days and so should make this one, I think, but perhaps not-then the crazy-early KO away at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve).

Again, the same central 3 midfielders of Fernandinho, David & Kevin, despite the Belgium having-had a bug recently and heading into last weekend’s game, according to Pep. However, I think we’ll see one change beyond those. I can see Guardiola wanting to perhaps squeeze Gabriel into the side as well as Sergio for this one and, so, the young Brazilian might start on the left with still-in-form Raheem on the right.

Sergio, as I say, surely rewarded for his 2 goals and fine second half display last Saturday and to keep his confidence up following rumours (again at this time of year) of unrest.

Claudio the reserve keeper; Danilo & Mangala the defensive options from the side. Yaya should get a spot on a bench that also contains 3 other creative / attacking midfielders / wingers in Ilkay, Bernardo & Leroy.

Notable absences: John Stones (close to a return but still not quite ready, I don’t think) & Benjamin Mendy (continues rehab following injury / surgery).

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

Oh yes.

Result? I don’t know a great deal about the players our hosts have but I get the feeling they have a few who can hurt you but, at the same time, are very flaky to say the least. In fact, the last game suggests just that, which was a 2-3 away win at equally erratic West Ham.

Their home, league record this season so far tells the same story with a, P9 W3 D1 L5  F9 A12. I just can’t see past another away win for City, albeit one where we might leak a goal at some point.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment