City v Wolves

I remember not so long ago that Wolves used to have a hold of City, our record against them was pretty poor. Luckily things have changed now and we go into Tuesdays game full of confidence after our brilliant start to the season. Wolves are also flying and I think will give us a right test, this will be a lot more difficult than most of our prem games so far this season.

They signed some very good young overseas players pre season and have hit the ground running, no complacency here please  City. Six thousand wolf’s making the trip over should make for a great atmosphere as well.

Not sure how we’ll line up at all, not expecting wholesale changes maybe three or four, as Pep still sees this as worth winning that’s my belief anyway. Gundogan, Danilo, Yaya, Bernardo and maybe Mangala should get a go while there’s also talk about Zinchenko starting at left back. Kev, Sane and Silva all need a rest in my opinion but that takes all the creativity out of the side, not happening. I think it will be something like this:

Bravo, Danilo, Delph, Stones, Mangala, Y. Toure, Gundogan, Sterling, Sane, B. Silva, Aguero.

Subs: Ederson, Adarabioyo, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Diaz, Jesus, D.Silva.

Prediction  City 2 Wolves 1

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CITY v Burnley

bfcAfter our slight wobble in the second half against Napoli, it’s vital we get straight back on track in this game.  Our record against Burnley is good, we doubled them last year, but in 2014/15 they beat us at their place and after being played off the park in the first half and being 2-0 down, they came back to draw 2-2 at The Etihad at Christmas 2014, aided by an offside goal which the media would never have shut up about if it had been the other way round.  Our only other PL meetings were in 09/10 when we drew 3-3 at home under Hughes but thrashed them 6-1 at the end of the season under Mancini.  The weather had more chance of beating us that day.  Prior to that it was the free scoring wins under Keegan of 4-2 (a) and 5-1 (h).  This season they are in 7th place on 13 points having won four, drawn three and lost one.  Former Blue Ben Mee is still in their ranks, so expect a story about how he was never given a chance whilst at the club because he can’t speak Spanish in the newspapers on the morning of the game.  Also with them is former Red, Phil Bardsley, who if I remember rightly was the second “next Ronaldo” and who despite only playing eighteen games including substitute appearances in five years for United, will no doubt give us the benefit of his wisdom on how United are a much better club for youngsters to be at.  Like one or two others, I want to see the changes kept to a minimum.  We need to keep the pressure on United who will surely beat Huddersfield following their glorious victory over Benfica thanks to a mistake by the twelve year old goalkeeper.  They’ll give us a couple of scares, but I’m going for 3-1 to City.

CITY v Napoli

nfcIt’s fair to say that things are slightly different to the last time we met Napoli in the CL.  Back in 2012, it was the first CL appearance for both clubs with big things predicted of Napoli,  I felt we gave them a little too much respect at the Etihad in that 1-1 draw and we were also a little unfortunate to lose in Italy.  Since then, we’ve gone on to play seven times in the tournament, whilst they have blown hot and cold switching between Europa League and CL qualification.  This year though, they are having a very good season to date with eight wins from eight games in their league and 26 goals scored.  There’s rumours that Napoli will rest their top players as they play a top of the table game with Inter Milan on Saturday, something that is probably just talk.  The experts are predicting a goal fest so it’ll probably be 1-0.  A win will pretty much guarantee us qualification and the way we’re playing at present, it’s hard to see any other result but a City win.  I’m going to say 2-1 to the Blues.

El Plastico

Footnote for the BBC and Sky

The Busby Babes never played against Liverpool, mainly because the Scousers were in Division Two. Similarly, the rags endured such a yoyo existence in the 1920s and 1930s that the teams rarely met.
However, they do share a pre war distinction: the 1915 Bribery Scandal, when United avoided relegation with a “Fixed” 2-0 victory.
Shankly and Busby were big mates, so throughout the 60s and 70s the United-Liverpool fixture was fairly low key, when compared with the nastiness of United-Leeds, or even the Manchester Derby itself. which regularly boasted a higher crowd, and certainly a more vicious atmosphere.
During the 1972-73 season, the Old Trafford attendance was 8,000 higher against City than the visit of Shankly’s ultimate Champions. Remarkably, even the Sheffield United fixture attracted 4,000 more spectators than Keegan and Toshack.
Both cities can boast a rich musical heritage, but any talk of a contentious football rivalry originating from the Manchester Ship Canal replacing the River Mersey as a strategic port of commerce, can be answered in two words: utter bollocks.
No, if you’re looking for the real reasons, then rewind to the Summer of 1981, when the Football League ruled that clubs no longer had to share gate receipts, and in doing so, effectively told the provincial smaller clubs to kiss its arse.
Almost overnight, Ipswich and Nottingham Forest ceased to be realistic contenders, and funnily enough, I don’t recall any Manchester United or Liverpool directors complaining about Financial Fair Play,
In contrast, the major beneficiaries were the big city teams with the larger fanbase, and for a variety of reasons, two clubs in particular enjoyed the biggest advantage, with their fixtures attracting the biggest advertising revenue
In the short term, Liverpool continued to dominate, but United grew stronger, and aided by stadium expansion, increased TV deals, and clever manipulation of the Far East market, their arrival at the summit, coincided with the birth of the Premier League.
The only problem for Team Sky was that whilst United’s success was based on concrete foundations, their East Lancs rivals had grown complacent with outdated modes of Boot Room methodology.
Similarly, the BBC were embarrassingly desperate for Liverpool to succeed, because despite their huge collection of trophies, they were starting to resemble 90 year old Huddersfield Town fans, pining for the days of Herbert Chapman.
Other clubs arrived, so the last throw of the dice was to convince the post truth footballing world that United-Liverpool has always been the key fixture in the sporting calendar.
Keep repeating and repeating, until one day, nobody bothers to question why Liverpool have never won the Premier League, or why United’s success is remarkably lopsided.
Anyway, I believe it finished 0-0 again.
Can’t wait for the next time.

 

CITY v Stoke City

stokeAfter the distraction of the International break, it’s back to football that really matters.  Hopefully, we’ve not had any new injuries during the round of qualifiers and it was good news that Aguero was back training, just twelve days after his crash.  At this rate he’ll be playing in a month.  I’ve heard nothing about Delph since the report that he’d withdrawn from the England squad.  Hopefully, it was just a precaution or even that Delph just didn’t want to take any risks because without a City career, there isn’t going to be an England career and he must be aware that Pep will offload him if he keeps pulling sickies.  Darren Southgate complained to the newspapers that he was short of quality players to choose from (picture of Delph alongside the story) and warned his pampered England stars that they hadn’t won anything yet (picture of Raheem Sterling alongside story.)  This will be the same Darren Southgate who has won three PL titles, one WC, two CL’s and a Ballon D’Or in his time during which he missed just a handful of games injured.  We must also hope that Liverpool will expose United’s frailties, but typically, the scousers have lost Mane for six weeks just before they are due to face their deadly rivals.  Knowing United’s ability to win at Anfield, I’m betting they will win 1-0 or at least draw, so a win against Stoke is of course vital.  I’m going for 3-1 to City with one defensive cock up to spoil the day.

Aguero Injured In Car Crash

I dont know if it was on here or another board but someone, tongue in cheek, mentioned its about time for Sergio to have his annual 6-8 week stretch out due to injury.  ESPN has reported that Aguero fractured his rib in a car accident last night in Holland.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?????  This is one reason why I havent gotten too excited about the start to the season.  I see people glibly predicting 4 or 5 nil wins.  Well, so far thy have been mostly correct.  Is this part of the “typical City” or a “City curse”.

First Big Vince, then Mendy now this.  Mendy couldnt have an injury that would see him miss 4-6 weeks-oh no.  He has to miss the whole FREAKING SEASON!!!  FFS!!!

Now I know players have private lives.  I do wonder his judgement of flying to Holland to see a concert.  I guess they had the next day off training, no?  If they didnt, then I have a big problem with this.  It could have been a hell of a lot worse and maybe I come off as a bit of a dick getting mad at Aguero getting hurt when he could have been KILLED!!!  But still!!!