What a strange Topsy-Turvey world it will be this weekend. 90% of City fans will be willing United to beat Liverpool and 90% of Liverpool fans will be urging Everton on to beat City. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ll be one of those 90% either. Everton lie 7th in the table with three wins and three draws from their eight away games to date. They’ve managed seven goals on their travels, the lowest amount scored by a team in the top ten. Not long ago, they were a real bogey team for us and even last season, we made hard work of the home game, drawing 1-1 with Walker being sent off for taking a step backwards. No room for any errors now and if we drop any more league points, Liverpool will capitalise against United. We should have Aguero back with De Bruyne on the bench and if Stones is out, I suppose Otamendi will cover. This will be a tough one, but I’m going for 2-1 to City.
After the disappointment of Sunday’s defeat, this is a chance to get back into winning ways and cement our place at the top of the group. A few years ago, just qualifying was the target, but in recent years, we’ve moved on and now see top spot as where we should be. I’m not convinced that topping the group is the best option for us this year, having seen the clubs we could face in the next round. Finishing as runners up wouldn’t be the end of the world. What do you guys think? I would expect a few changes in this one. Foden should start fresh from signing his new deal and Diaz, whom the club are reported to be trying one more time to persuade to stay, may be given a start in an attempt to show him that there is a place for him at City. My best wishes go out to Napoli tomorrow night and it would “ha aha aha ha, that’s really made my day, that has, Butler” if Napoli draw with a 95th minute goal. (Sorry, I’ve been watching too many YouTube clips of On the Buses.) Frank and Peter, I watched a an episode of All In The Family, on YouTube, which for those who don’t know is the US version Till Death Us Do Part. It was quite interesting. 3-0 to City with Foden having a great game is my prediction.
I usually get to this fixture but unfortunately tickets were sold out when I went on the City website three weeks ago, so I will have to find somewhere to watch it.
Chelsea need no introduction to us. They have been up and down in their performances under Sarri. Mind you, the defeat at Wolves (who opened them up easily for their 2 goals) was a bit unexpected.
In the bad old days I would say that we would be nailed on for a heavy defeat as Chelsea react to their bad result but these days teams walk in fear of us and Chelsea will be fragile. As against Watford I think we will dominate and create lots of chances in the first half. This is when, unlike in the Watford game, we must put them away, because Chelsea will have a spell of dominance and could quite easily score in that period. As always Hazard and Willian will be the dangers.
It will be a tough game and as a minimum we must come away with a point but I would hope to see a 2-1 win.
Second guessing Pep’s team selection is a waste of time,, but I think Sterling and Laporte have to start.
One thing that crossed my mind was the number of left footed players in midfield/attack in the side on Tuesday – Sane, Mahrez, Bernardo, Silva. Are we unbalanced?
As you can tell from my post about the Liverpool/Everton game, I am still a tad annoyed that the red scouse escaped with all three points. I can’t complain that they scored in the last seconds as we did that ourselves a few times last season, but it’s the way they were gifted the points that riled me. I wouldn’t have even minded if they’d dominated the game and created lots of chances, but they looked really ordinary. TalkSport argued that Liverpool won whilst playing badly and can only get better. I would argue that eventually, their good fortune will run out and to that end, we must keep turning the screw, starting at Watford. News reports suggest that Zinchenko is a doubt thanks to that dirty fouling git, Fernandinho. When will referees get to grips with this man? If that’s the case, then Delph will play, get injured and miss the Chelsea game, when we really may need him most. Aguero too is a doubt and I’d rather we persevered with Jesus rather than risk Sergio, because I do believe he’ll come good – eventually. Liverpool are away at Burnley on the Wednesday, who are going through a really poor run and look relegation candidates at the moment, so another three points look likely to be in the bank of scouseland. We mustn’t give them any encouragement. 2 – 1 to City with Watford giving us a few scares.
Jesus, Gundogan, Danilo and Silva should all be available for this game with no further injuries reported since the Lyon game. No doubt someone will turn an ankle whilst kicking the ball in training before Saturday. No rest bite for us with Liverpool refusing to let go of our shirt tails, however, Liverpool face a tricky local derby and who knows, their confidence may be slightly shaken after losing to dirty, rotten, cheating PSG (Klopp’s words, not mine) allowing Everton to snaffle a point. Chelsea’s grip has weakened considerably and they now find themselves seven points behind us. Their next two games will either get them back in to the title race, or see them eliminated from it. Lyon showed teams how to have the some success against us, that being to break quickly using speedy players to stretch our defence. How many PL teams have the personnel to do that though? Not many. Again, without sounding cocky, we should have too much for the Cherries and we should notch up another three points. I’m going for 3-0
Olympique Lyonnais, Les Gones (The Kids) were formed in 1899 but 1950 is generally recognised as their formation as the modern club. They won the LA Liga in 2002 going on to win it another 6 straight times. Squad includes rag flop Memphis Depay and Jason Denayer. They play in the 59,186 (that’s an odd number?) capacity Groupama Stadium. This season so far they’re in 2nd place with 27 points from 14 games and 8 wins 3 draws and 3 losses, having just beaten St Etienne 1-0 at home, but still 15 points off 1st place PSG. In the Chimps league they’ve beaten us 2-1, drawn with Shakhtar 2-2, home, and drawn at Hoffenheim 3-3 away 2-2 home. In the home game in September, matchday One it was a surprising 2-1 loss for the Blues. Lyon went two goals up through Cornett (26) and Fekir (43) until we woke up and Bernardo Silva (67) pulled one back, but it wasn’t enough. Crowd was 40,111 with 445 Lyons. Thanks to Dave Wallace for that information on Lyon. If we play as we did in the first half of the first leg, we’ll lose, but somehow, I can’t see us being quite so lethargic this time. Jesus isn’t travelling and if he injured himself in that nine minute run out at West Ham, we have problems because we’re down to one recognised forward. No Bernado, Jesus, De Bruyne, Bravo, Mendy or Gundogan. Our players really must be made of glass. We travel with 19 players and three of those are goalkeepers. Right now, I’d settle for 2-2.
I think most of us have a bit of a soft spot for West Ham, and i’m no exception to the rule. I think a lot of goodwill towards them came from the last game of the 86-87 at upton Park, when they invaded the pitch and started coming over to the City fans, most feared the worst but they ended up applauding the city fans and shaking hands with the blue hordes.
Plus they have Pellers in charge so what’s not to like?, Ok their owners are bellends but that’s about it. I think they’ve all had a dig at city at some point so that makes them bellends. Another injury in the way of Bernardo to contend with ( why always us with these sodding international games) , but we can still field Sane or Foden if need be. I’m going for a tight 2-1 City win with this line up . Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph, Fernandinho, Mahrez, D.Silva, Foden, Sterling, Aguero.
Subs: Muric, Kompany, Danilo, Zinchenko, Sane, Gundogan, Jesus.