Monday, 20 October 2014

CSKA Moscow vs Man City - Preview

        CSKA Moscow vs Manchester City
      Tuesday 21st October, Arena Khimki
                         Kick Off 17:00
                     Referee: Istvan Vad

The games are coming thick and fast, next for us is a trip to a very cold Russia in the UEFA Champions league.

There isn't a great deal to say about this game apart from that we need to win it, this game must be the start of taking our destiny back into our own hands.

So, what kind of team are we facing? Well CSKA have won their last five league games, scoring 19 goals and conceding just 4, however in the middle of their fine league form they have been beaten twice in the Champions League, conceding 6 goals and scoring just 1.

So what have we learnt from that apart from the clear fact that the Russian league is a terrible standard of football? Well it does not matter what kind of opposition you have been beating in football, as long as you are winning then your confidence will grow and having confidence can help to win football games, so I think that we should be conscious of that.

I am obviously expecting us to win this game and I am expecting us to smash them without breaking a sweat, teams like CSKA need to be our bread and butter in the Champions League, they are no where near as good a team as us and I think that we need to use them to send a message out to Roma and Bayern.

I also feel like we have been disrespected by Ahmed Musa in the build up to the game with the striker stating the following, "As you can see, they are very weak this year. We are going to use that advantage against them.
"In a couple of games they haven't been that good. They are very weak in the defence, so we are going to do our best to work against that.
"I think we are going to have a great opportunity because of the quality of the players we have. I think Tuesday is going to be a very good game for us."
Is this guy for real, we are the current champions of England which is arguably the best league in the world, plus if we are 'very weak' then I have not noticed, it has really got my back up and should have done the same to our players, hopefully it will give them extra motivation.

Man City Team News
Samir Nasri remains out with a groin injury, Eliaquim Mangala has been training with the rest of the team in Russia and should return to the the squad, Frank Lampard misses out with a thigh injury.

CSKA Moscow Team News
Dzagoev and Wernbloom are suspended, Elm (stomach), Panchenko (knee) and Vitinho (ankle) are expected to miss out.  Fernandes (elbow) and Doumbia (thigh) are possible doubts for the home team.

Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy, Milner, Toure, Fernandinho, Navas, Silva, Dzeko.

Possible CSKA Moscow Line Up
Akinfeev, Fernandes, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov, A Berezutski, Tošić, Natcho, Eremenko, Milanov, Musa.

My Prediction
CSKA Moscow 0 - 5 Man City.

Worth A Bet
David Silva scores the first goal in a 0 - 4 Man City win @ 120/1 or you could go with Yaya Toure first goal and  0 - 4 to City @ 100/1.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Man City 4 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur

A game full of missed opportunities, bad passing, goals and penalties finished with us as the victors, it must have been a cracking game to watch for a neutral.

I will start with Spurs, I have to give Spurs credit, they came to try and win which is something we don't see a lot from the away team.
They created a few chances and although they messed up a couple of them, they also had Joe Hart in their way, England's number one was absolutely fantastic.
Ultimately Spurs lost the game because we were the better team but only just, neither team passed well or defended well, if I was a Spurs fan I would certainly feel like 4 - 1 was not necessarily a true picture of how they played.

As for us, as I mentioned our passing was poor and our defending was terrible at times, we attacked well but our end product wasn't good enough.
It has been a long time since I have seen us defend so badly, we looked panicked, were sloppy and were causing ourselves problems.
I am not concerned about it that much though, you just have to look at Fernando as an example because he was absolutely terrible yesterday, we know he can play much better than that and I think it can be put down to an off day.

It was much the same scenario with our passing because that was bad as well, the whole team were guilty of it but none other than David Silva was the main culprit and the whole world knows how good he is at passing a football, so yet again you have to let them off with a run of the mill bad day at the office.

We had a few players that played well yesterday and who kept us ticking over well we weren't at our best, Clichy, Navas, Milner for example but lets face it, Sergio Aguero was the difference.
Pochettino was bang on when he said that he is the best striker in the world, what attribute has Aguero not got because I can't think of any, he is a defenders worst nightmare, I think that if you want to stop him then there's not much more that you can do but kick him, a truly integral player for us who needs another new contract putting in front of him asap.

Overall we played decent enough, beat a good team that caused us problems, bagged another three points and can start to build some momentum again after being interrupted by the International break.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Man City vs Tottenham Hotspur - Preview

        Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
        Saturday 18th October, Etihad Stadium
                              Kick Off 12:45
                     Referee: Jonathan Moss

Finally the International break is over and we can get back to league football, it has only been two weeks but it seems like an eternity since our last game, hopefully we will be raring to go.
It always feels like its a fresh start after an International break and where that might work for some teams, I don't think that the break came at the right time for us this time around.
We have taken eight points from our last four games which included games against Arsenal and Chelsea, we brushed aside Hull and Villa without breaking much of a sweat and were clearly starting to click, hopefully the break will not break our momentum.
As for Spurs, well I haven't managed to see a great deal of them this season so I cannot possibly judge them to much, they clearly have a talented squad and some outstanding individual players and will surely pose a threat.
Last season we smashed Spurs twice and although I am not expecting that to happen in this game, I still think that we will win the game quite comfortably.
Like I said I haven't seen Spurs play loads this season but when I have seen them play I felt like they were lacking defensively, a lot of their midfield is attack minded and the defence is not protected well enough, once you do break through what is effectively a two man midfield then you hit two centre backs that lack the pace to keep up with the likes of Silva and Aguero and I think that we will capitalise on that.
Man City Team News
Samir Nasri continues to recover from a groin injury, Fernandinho is expected to miss out with a hamstring problem and Eliaquim Mangala is also set to miss out after returning from International duty with a muscle injury, Yaya Toure only got back from International duty on Thursday and may be rested.
Tottenham Hotspur Team News
Hugo Lloris (thigh) and Nacer Chadli (hip) did not feature for their Countries this week but are likely to be fit enough to make Tottenham's match day squad at the very least, Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb only returned from International duty on Friday and may be rested, Kyle Naughton (ankle) and Kyle Walker (pelvis) remain sidelined.
Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Milner, Toure, Fernando, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.
Possible Tottenham Hotspur Line Up
Lloris, Dier, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue, Mason, Eriksen, Lamela, Chadli, Soldado.
My Prediction
Man City 3 - 0 Spurs.
Worth A Bet
Pablo Zabaleta scores the first goal in a 3 - 0 Man City win @ 200/1.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Man City vs Sheffield Wednesday - Preview

      Manchester City vs Sheffield Wednesday
  Wednesday 24th September, Etihad Stadium
                             Kick Off 19:45
                      Referee: Paul Tierney

We welcome Sheffield Wednesday to the Etihad in the first game of our quest to defend our League Cup.
I am not someone who takes any competition for granted and we should be trying to win this trophy again, although it does feel like it is a game without the pressure that the league and champions league carries.
I can't pretend that I see a lot of Sheffield Wednesday play, I do regularly check their results when I am flicking through the score centre on the ipad but that is only because I follow ex hopefuls like Helan to see how they are getting on, apart from that I don't know very much at all.
I do know that they have been doing quite well so far this season, they are just three points off the top of the league and have lost just one game to Stuart Pearce's high flying Forest team.
I imagine that Wednesday will come full of confidence and adrenaline ready to take on the big boys and so they should, still I think it will be difficult for them to get a result at the Etihad, although not impossible of course.
It is hard to talk about us in relation to tomorrows game because we are without doubt going to see a lot of changes to the starting line, I don't think it should make to much difference though because I think that the players brought into the team will have a point to prove, it is going to be difficult to name a possible team and I am going to choose from the senior players but it will be no surprise to see the likes of Bytyqi and Hiwula in the squad.
I imagine that the result of tomorrows match will not matter to much to the manager whatever the outcome, I think that Pellegrini will want to win this trophy but I don't imagine that he will have a sleepless night if we were to get knocked out.
It is a shame that the League Cup is so undervalued these days but managers just don't like the extra games and it is this competition that is sacrificed, I would like to think that our club want to win this trophy as much as the others but I do doubt that will be the case, I know that I want to win it just like I did pre 2008, a time when it would of been a dream to see us lift this cup.
Man City Team News
Pablo Zabaleta is suspended following his red car against Chelsea, Sergio Aguero is out with a minor knee injury and David Silva will miss out with an ankle complaint, Stevan Jovetic is still recovering from a hamstring injury and Fernando is still not ready to return due to a groin injury.
Sheffield Wednesday Team News
Everton and Reading have given permission for on loan pair Hallam Hope and Royston Drenthe to play and both may feature, Kieran Lee (groin) and Sam Hutchinson (back) continue to recover from injury.
Possible Man City Line Up
Caballero, Sagna, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy, Sinclair, Fernandinho, Lampard, Navas, Milner, Dzeko.

Possible Sheffield Wednesday Line Up
Kirkland, Palmer, lees, Loovens, Mattock, Maguire, Semedo, Coke, Helan, Nuhiu, May.
My Prediction
Man City 3 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday.
Worth A Bet
Frank Lampard scores the first goal in a 3-1 Man City win @ 50/1.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Man City 1 - 1 Chelsea - Shafted Again

There is only one place to begin and that is with the referee, he was card happy, inconsistent and took every opportunity that he could to slow us down.

Mike Dean should definitely be relieved from Premier League duty in the coming weeks, he was absolutely shocking. He blew his whistle nearly every time we made a tackle, booked players for their first foul, refused to give us a penalty twice and ultimately sent Zabaleta off for a second bookable offence when he should not have been shown the first yellow, not to mention that he let Costa get away with putting his hands around Zabbas throat.

We were very very good today and bossed Chelsea in every area of the pitch, there is no way they would have scored against us had Zabbo not been sent off, they caught us on the break a few minutes after the dismissal when we were still reeling from the refs decision, as soon as we composed ourselves we started controlling the game again and super Frank Lampard grabbed the goal that secured a point, although we clearly deserved three.

The referee is the main talking point for now and rightly so, but there were so many positives to come out of today's game.
I will start with the team, nearly the whole team were committed to the cause and did not stop fighting, Yaya was the weakest link again but I am not going to say he played badly but he certainly played within himself and could have offered more, but as a whole the lads were immense.
Next some praise for the manager, in my pre match I said I wanted to see us go all out and attack Chelsea, Manuel set us up to do just that and it worked perfectly, he made a wise move by starting Milner knowing that his work ethic would be well utilised against a Chelsea team whose main objective was to make sure that they didn't concede and then of course he made the decision to bring Lampard on, need I say more.
I will finish off with the debut of Mangala, what a great performance from the Frenchman who rightly took the man of the match award at the Etihad. Imagine getting thrown into the side for the first time to face such tough opposition, it could be daunting for some players but that clearly wasn't the case for Mangala, he was absolutely immense and had Costa and co in his pocket all game, he was strong, quick, powerful, he reads the game well and always came out on top when it came to a tackle, if this was just a regular performance from him then I will declare now that we have the best centre back pairing in the world.

We didn't get the result we deserved today but I don't think that we need to dwell on it, it was our best performance this season by a mile and I think we should just look forward to continuing on that path, more so than ever I still maintain that we are by a distance the best team in the league, as long as we don't drop any silly points then I am sure that we will catch up and overtake the current leaders.

Man City vs Chelsea - Preview

            Manchester City vs Chelsea
 Sunday 21st September, Etihad Stadium
                        Kick Off 16:00
                   Referee: Mike Dean

Following tough games against Arsenal and Bayern we finally get an easy run out against Chelsea, in all seriousness this is potentially a vital game for us even though it is still early in the season.

Chelsea come to us tomorrow having won all of their league games this season, they have a good manager, a good team and they are scoring goals, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that they will cause us some serious problems.

I expect Mourinho to try and conduct one of his tactical master plans against us tomorrow, we have seen him do it a few times in big games since he has returned to Stamford Bridge, he clearly orders possession and patience as well as solid defending and it works very well because he knows that his team can still score goals at the same time.

This is an important game for us, if we don't win the game then we could end up eight points behind Chelsea after just five games and it would take a brave person to suggest that Chelsea would relinquish such a lead even though it is very early into the season, I certainly wouldn't expect City to.

I would like to see Pellegrini send out a team that is all about attacking because Chelsea have been conceding goals, they haven't played any of the big boys yet and two of the teams they have faced have just been promoted, it certainly points towards defensive frailties.

I am feeling unsure again when it comes to predicting a result, not because I am worried about the prospect of facing Chelsea, more because I don't know which City will turn up.
I felt we played better against Arsenal and did well against Bayern but it is still clear that all of our cogs are not turning, if they do start to click into gear then I would back us to beat not only Chelsea but anyone.

Man City Team News
Stevan Jovetic continues to recover from a hamstring injury and Fernando is also set to miss out again as he is still suffering with a groin injury, Dzeko was said to be suffering from a back injury but is expected to be in the squad.

Chelsea Team News
Diego Costa will start despite carrying a hamstring injury, Chelsea are thought to have no other injury worries.

Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.

Possible Chelsea Line Up
Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard, Costa.

My Prediction
Man City 3 - 1 Chelsea.

Worth A Bet
Fernandinho scores the first goal in a 3-1 Man City win @ 190/1.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Man City

Well it was not to be, we couldn't manage a win in our first group game, Jerome Boateng's deflected shot grabbing victory for Bayern right at the death.

I was a bit disappointed when we lost last night but then quickly realised that it is no disgrace getting beaten by Bayern Munich away from home.

I thought we played quite well last night, Bayern certainly put us under a lot of pressure at times as is expected but we were never overawed and defended magnificently when we needed to, Joe Hart in particular showcasing some world class goalkeeping.

I think we competed with Bayern for the majority of the game and were even the better team at times, we were lacking a little bit in the final third because we only had one striker playing, we didn't give Bayern enough to think about and I reckon that had we played two strikers, we would have scored.

If we were to go off our performance in last nights game I would say that we will come out of the group, I know Roma hammered CSKA but that's not exactly the most impressive result considering how weak CSKA's squad is.

Overall the only thing about our performance that we should be disappointed with is Yaya Toure, again!
We know how good he can be when he wants to but he just cannot be bothered turning up most of the time, the rest of the team worked very hard last night while he stood by and watched.
He also didn't do himself any favours at the end of the game, it looked bad at the time but TV replays have made it look much worse, laughing and joking with the opposition manager after getting beat is not professional and not the attitude of a winner, I have had enough of him and would sell him to the highest bidder.

Anyhow I think we can look forward to our next group game with confidence.

Apologies for the short post but I am still in the middle of travelling.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bayern Munich vs Man City - Preview

               Bayern Munich vs Manchester City
       Wednesday 17th September, Allianz Arena
                                 Kick off 19:45
       Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco  (ESP)
The Champions League is back! I absolutely love it when it is time for the Champions league, having the privilege of watching us play the best teams in Europe still feels like the dream that came true for me.
Again we get to go to the Allianz arena and pit ourselves against one of the most famous teams in the world, Bayern is an ideal first group game for me, it will be tough but it will also give us that instant reminder of the level needed to be successful in the Champions League.
Tomorrows game shouldn't be daunting for us, sure Bayern are a brilliant team but much like ourselves they haven't blew anyone away yet this season.
It is also very necessary to remember that we beat them away from home last season, we should take confidence from the way that we turned that game around and if we show that kind of character this time around then I think it is more than possible to beat them again.
I feel a tad confident about this game, I feel like we turned a bit of a corner against Arsenal, our work rate was better, our rhythm was better and our defending was better, if we take that improvement into this game then we can easily walk away with points on the board.
I honestly feel like Bayern will be more worried about us than we are about them, firstly we beat them last season, secondly we are still the new rich kids in town as far as these big European clubs are concerned and nobody wants to be beaten by us.
There is always reference to our wealth being mentioned by opposition players and board members alike, players claim not to know anything about us especially before the Sheik came along, they all want to turn their noses up at us and the only reason for it is fear.
These clubs don't want City crashing their party, they want to put us in our place but that brings pressure and is just an advantage for us.
Man City Team News
Stevan Jovetic is expected to miss out as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury, Fernando is not expected to return from a groin injury and Pablo Zabaleta is suspended along with Manuel Pellegrini.
Bayern Munich Team News
Ribery is definitely out of the game with a knee injury and Bayern have a whole host of potential doubts for the game, Badstuber (thigh), Martinez (knee), Rafinha (ankle), Schweinsteiger (knee), Thiago (knee) and Weiser(knee) could all miss out.
Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.
Possible Bayern Munich Line Up
Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Bernat, Xabi Alonso, Alaba, Müller, Götze, Robben, Lewandowski.
My Prediction
Bayern Munich 0 - 2 Man City.
Worth A Bet
Sergio Aguero scores the first goal in a 0-2 Man City win @ 155/1.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Arsenal vs Man City - Preview

               Arsenal vs Manchester City
Saturday 13th September, Emirates Stadium
                           Kick off 12:45
               Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Firstly in case you thought I had done one again, unfortunately I haven't, there was an issue with my URL being recognised but hopefully it is sorted now.

Tomorrows game, both ourselves and Arsenal go into tomorrows game on the back of a poor result last time out and since I don't expect Arsenal or City to drop points so easily very often, I would imagine that we are in for a decent game tomorrow.

There is no doubt that we are or should be in for a tough game tomorrow, Arsenal have a quality group of players and a quality manager, the only thing I am not sure about is how good those players are as a team.
As I said Arsenal have some very good players but they haven't done anything yet that suggests that they are anything special as a team, a narrow win against Palace and two hard fought draws against Everton and Leicester, it doesn't exactly blow you away.
It doesn't mean I don't think they are capable though, it is obvious to see what Arsenal could achieve if everything clicks.
Wenger has made some good signings, in fact potentially great signings, of course there is Sanchez, but for me Welbeck could be a masterstroke, I wouldn't have minded him at City if I am honest because in attack minded teams like ours and Arsenal I am convinced that he will score goals.
A lot of people are discounting Arsenal when it comes to the title and personally I think that's a big mistake, I hope that we don't discount them on the pitch tomorrow.

If Arsenal haven't blown me away yet then I certainly can't claim that City have, the pathetic loss to Stoke is still annoying me.
We can't afford to play like that again this season, especially not during the next three games or we will end up on the end of a hammering.
On the flip side, if we play to our potential then we are going to hand out a lot of hammerings, I just hope that we can click tomorrow beat Arsenal and find a good level of consistency ready for the games that follow, for that to happen the whole team need to start pulling their weight, something that we haven't seen so far this season.

I am unsure of what I think the result will be tomorrow which is strange for me, I don't think either team has shown enough to predict a result based on form or feeling, my heart says that we will win because we are the better team, but my head is interfering with that feeling a little bit.
I don't think that we will get beat but maybe that we could draw, I will however go for a City win just because on paper as it were, we are the better team.

Man City Team News
Stevan Jovetic's bad luck with injuries continues after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty which will see him miss the game, Fernando also misses out with a groin injury.
Zabaleta picked up a knock on International duty but should be ok and Mangala could make his debut.

Arsenal Team News
Aaron Ramsey will face a late fitness test after injuring his ankle playing for Wales, Arteta (ankle), Ospina (thigh) and Gibbs (hamstring) are all expected to be available for selection, Mesut Ozil is also expected to be fit after spraining his ankle on national duty. Walcott and Gnabry both miss out with knee injuries and Olivier Giroud continues to recover from a fractured foot.

Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Mangala, Kompany, Clichy, Nasri, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.

Possible Arsenal Line Up
Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Alexis, Carzola, Ozil, Sanogo, Welbeck.

My Prediction
Arsenal 1 - 2 Man City.

Worth a bet
David Silva scores the first goal in a 1 - 2 Man City win @ 50/1.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Man City 0 - 1 Stoke City - Disappointing

If anything was going to put me in a bad mood this weekend then this result was it, it just was not acceptable.

A Stoke team that have been seen to try and play football since Hughes has become manager reverted to type and put ten men behind the ball, we couldn't break them down and then somehow they managed to score.
Stoke defended well today but apart from that they were clearly a terrible football team, how they got themselves in a position to score a goal after sitting in their own half all game is beyond me.
This loss was simply our own fault, our players are good enough to break down a team like Stoke but for whatever reason they didn't do it.

I am going to drag Pellegrini in for some blame while I name the worst players from today's game, I am not a fan of rotation and three games into the season it is not necessary, Sagna was terrible and didn't provide the extra man going forward like Zabbo would have done, he should have been replaced.
Then there was Kolarov who has definitely improved over the last year but was poor today and much like Sagna left us lacking going forward on the left, he also should have been replaced.
Last but certainly not least is YaYa Toure, he was the worst player on the pitch by a long way, he had a couple of shots and did nothing else and I mean nothing, he must of been bad today because I heard other people in the ground slating him for the first time since he has been at the club, normally people seem scared to say anything bad about him and Pellegrini can be included in that because he didn't have the bottle to drag him off today, no player should be untouchable when they are not contributing.

I don't know what was wrong with us today, it was like the players were playing at pace but their brains weren't, I think the only thing that we succeeded at was passing the ball to death.

I am still very annoyed at the moment and will definitely not have it in me to watch MOTD tonight, I am sure however that after a few days of reflection that I will be anxiously looking forward to the next game as usual, my head is ruling at the moment but my heart tells me that we will make amends for this defeat.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Man City vs Stoke City - Preview

               Manchester City vs Stoke City
       Saturday 30th August, Etihad Stadium
                             Kick off 15:00
                       Referee: Lee Mason

Next up at the Etihad Stadium are Stoke City, Stoke lost their first game and could only manage a draw in their second game despite playing against ten men for 75 minutes, it is quite easy to suggest that it is doubtful that they will pose much of a threat to us.

It is never my intention to disrespect any of our opponents but I don't see what Stoke can bring to the game that will cause us any problems.
In their first home game of the season they were beaten by Aston Villa, a team that are more or less on par with Stoke, they didn't really cause Villa any problems and lost the game with a whimper.
In their second game of the season they could only manage a draw against a Hull side playing with ten men for most of the game, now I didn't manage to watch as much of this game as I would have liked so I wont say to much but the basic facts involved don't make good reading.

The good thing about Stoke these days is that they aren't as boring to watch as they used to be, they don't just try to defend and hoof anymore, Hughes has them trying to play football a bit more.
There is a couple of decent players in their team that could cause us problems but the main player I think we need to watch is Arnautovic, he always looks a good player when I see him play, he likes to attack and he isn't scared to have a pop.
I also think it is worth keeping an eye on Bardsley if he plays tomorrow, in my opinion Bardsley is under rated, he is good at going forward and can weigh in with a goal, he definitely could be the source of an unsuspected threat.

As for us, we have started the season well enough, 2 games, 6 points, 5 goals, not bad at all but there is much more to come.
We have conjured moments of brilliance in our first two games that have turned into goals, but we haven't played a full 90 minutes of football where we have been consistently good. I know it is only early season and I do believe that we are going to get better and better, we are entering our third game now though and should be fit enough and sharp enough to really turn it on.

As you have probably worked out by now, I expect us to win this game and win it comfortably at that, in fact I expect us to absolutely hammer them.

Man City Team News
Alvaro Negredo is the only definite absentee with a broken foot, Eliaquim Mangala is again expected to miss out due to a lack of fitness.

Stoke City Team News
Victor Moses may not be deemed match fit and is expected to start on the bench, Geoff Cameron is set to miss out with a thigh problem, Bojan Krkic (rib) and Phil Bardsley (knee) were both expected to miss out but some reports now suggest that they may be included in the team.

Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Kolarov, Nasri, Toure, Fernando, Silva, Jovetic, Dzeko.

Possible Stoke City Line Up
Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Sidwell, Whelan, Odemwingie, N'Zonzi, Arnautovic, Crouch.

My Prediction
Man City 5 - 0 Stoke City.

Worth A Bet
Fernando scores the first goal in a 5-0 Man City win @ a massive 260/1.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


The draw for the Champions League has just finished and we have ended up in what I would say is a tough enough group.

We have been put in group E alongside Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and A.S. Roma, of course we know we can beat both Bayern and CSKA after drawing them last year at this stage, Roma finished second in Serie A last season and will surely be a decent test for us.

Not a group we would have asked for I don't think but we should be able to get out of it, they are all going to be hard away trips and I think our home games will be key.

I suppose it doesn't matter really who you get because in a competition like this there are so many good teams and in the end you have to beat the best to be the best, it is also easy to forget at times how feared we will be by the other teams.

Exciting trips ahead!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Man City 3 - 1 Liverpool *Highlights Video*

On a rainy Monday night at the Etihad two goals from Stevan Jovetic and one from Sergio Aguero were enough to send Liverpool home defeated.

Where to begin, well in my pre match I declared that I wasn't nervous of playing Liverpool and yesterdays game shown that there was no need to be, I felt that we are a better team than them and last night I think we proved as much.

Liverpool came and played with men behind the ball and in the first half it worked for them quite well, we couldn't find a gap, they were seeing a lot of the ball and breaking forward when they saw an opportunity, an individual mistake as well as some great work from Jovetic sent them in at half time one down, probably undeservedly so.
Although we were not bad in the first half, we certainly were not at our best and were lacking in midfield and defence, Liverpool caused us problems and had our defence in a spin at times.

In the second half I thought that we were much better, we were more composed, organised and began to dictate the play.
There were still gaps in our midfield and Liverpool were still causing our defence problems but ultimately we were in control of the game.
Our attacking had gone from average to exceptional and it only took ten minutes for us to score our second goal, a goal that was a perfect example of how to rip a defence apart in the blink of an eye.
Our threat going forward continued and at one point we looked in the mood to score a bag full, it didn't go that way but we did manage a third, again we showed how easy it was to breach Liverpool's defence, a simple pass from Navas to Aguero and our Argentine finished superbly to score just 23 seconds after coming on.

Over 90 minutes last night I don't think I could wholeheartedly say that we were the best team, but when it mattered most we were far superior, our class shone through and we deservedly came out on top.

There was a couple of things that were particularly unpleasing about our performance last night, firstly our midfield.
Our midfield is far to lightweight at times and totally exposes our defence, Nasri and Silva mostly take up positions further up the pitch so really we only have two in the middle of the pitch.
I am sorry to disappoint all those people who make excuses for Yaya but it was this man again that did not pull his weight, in fact he did absolutely nothing again.
Now saying that, I do understand that Yaya may decide to impact the game when he can be bothered, so even if you keep him on the pitch, I still felt that plugging the gap in midfield is something that Pellegrini could have done.

I don't think our defence looked the best last night either, they were making me a little nervous at times which is unusual.
I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt because I don't think they were protected well enough but I still think they need to improve on this performance because they looked a tad shaky.

Now I have finished with that opinionated analysing, how good is Stevan Jovetic! I have spoken to a fair few City fans who have said to me that if he didn't start the season well that we should sell him, I fought his corner because I have seen his qualities over many years.
Stevan was absolutely class last night, he covered most of the pitch fighting from the front, his link up play was excellent and his sheer class shone through, if he continues like this he is going to be a superstar.

Once again not the best display by our standards, I do think though that we are going to get better with every game, we will get fitter, sharper, stronger and continue to dominate the league.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Man City vs Liverpool - Preview

            Manchester City vs Liverpool
     Monday 25th August, Etihad Stadium
                          Kick off 20:00
                 Referee: Michael Oliver

Our second game of the season brings us our first big test, we beat Liverpool to the title last season and you would expect them to be there or there abouts again come the end of the season.

Its only the second game of the season but for me this is a very important game and could even be a season defining game come the end of the campaign, for us and Liverpool alike.
I know some people will be thinking that sounds extreme and it very well might but I'm not just thinking of the three points at stake, of course gaining three points and preventing a title rival from taking them is important, however at this stage of the season the potential confidence booster from winning this game could prove more important than three points, it will give us that extra boost that could help us cruise through our up and coming fixtures.

Both ourselves and Liverpool have played one and won one, although neither team performed to the standards that we know that they are capable of.
We put in what can only be described as a professional performance against Newcastle, we were lacking that cutting edge, looked as bit sluggish and did only what we had to for us to win the game.
Liverpool on the other hand looked good going forward against Southampton but lacked the organisation and discipline that we showed against Newcastle and at the end of their game I felt that Southampton were worthy of at least a point.

I don't expect to see either team perform in the same manner on Monday night, I am expecting an adrenaline filled end to end game.
Last season City and Liverpool were the two best teams to watch if you wanted to see attacking football and I am expecting both teams to put on a good offensive show in this encounter.
Of course this time around Liverpool are without Luis Suarez and that makes a big difference when it comes to dealing with Liverpool's attack, although some suggest that it wont.
Strangely enough I was picked up from a night out in Wythenshawe (I know, I know) by a Liverpool fan taxi driver last night and a Suarez argument broke out, he was claiming they wont miss him and that Balotelli will fill the gap, he was clearly deluded although I have seen Liverpool fans saying similar things online, so they are trying their best to cover it up but it is obvious to all that Liverpool will miss Suarez, but we certainly wont.

Ultimately I expect us to win this game, playing Liverpool doesn't make me nervous in the slightest, I think we have the more experienced squad and to be blunt I just think we are all round a better team and if that sounds a little cocky it is not meant to be, it is just the way I feel.

Man City Team News
Alvaro Negredo continues his recovery from a broken foot and Eliaquim Mangala is again expected to miss out due to a lack of fitness.

Liverpool Team News
Daniel Agger, Jon Flanagan, Oussama Assaidi and Adam Lallana are all set to miss out with knee injuries, Jose Enrique is expected to face a late fitness as he also has a knew complaint. New signings Lazar Markovic and Alberto Moreno are in line to make their debuts.

Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Kolarov, Nasri, Toure, Fernando, Silva, Jovetic, Dzeko.

Possible Liverpool Line Up
Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Manquillo, Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge.

My Prediction
Man City 3 - 1 Liverpool.

Worth A Bet
Yaya Toure scores the first goal in a 3-1 Man City win @ 60/1.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Newcastle United 0 - 2 Man City - Silva 38', Aguero 90+2' *Highlights Video*

Our first game of the season brought us our first three points and a first away win, it was a perfect result from a performance that can only be regarded as doing 'just enough'.

I felt like we were going to face a good test yesterday and I believe that was the case, Newcastle have some good players and I think they shown that they have the potential to be a very good team, a little bit more quality in defence and attack from the home side could have seen the game finish with a different result.

When the game started it only took me a couple of minutes to feel comfortable with the way we were playing, we weren't playing amazing but we were in control for the first fifteen minutes, trying to attack at every opportunity.
Halfway through the first half I felt like we let Newcastle back into the game, we were sloppy in possession and lacked any real determination and work ethic, luckily Newcastle failed to capitalise and didn't cause us any problems.
Towards the end of the first half our class shone through and we scored, Yaya Toure who may as well not have been on the pitch up until the goal decided he was ready to show his class, a fantastic ball forward to Dzeko was back heeled by the Bosnian into the path of David Silva who then slotted the ball into the net.

At half time I think as a City fan you could probably say that we deserved a narrow lead, we by no means hammered Newcastle but we were the better team and Newcastle gave Joe Hart an easy time, of course I think Newcastle fans probably thought they had done enough to deserve going in level and if I was in their shoes I might of agreed, after all we only created a couple clear cut chances ourselves and didn't truly impose ourselves.

The second half was a little bit more entertaining than the first and that was mainly down to Newcastle, they created a couple of chances that I would of expected City to finish off, although I have to give credit to our players for their defending, there was a couple of last ditch challenges but in the end Hart was left untroubled.

Overall looking back at the game we were more clinical, more organised, more disciplined and we did deserve to win the game, we could of performed a lot better and put the game to bed earlier but I am sure that will come once we have a few games under our belt.

I have to admit I was expecting us to stick a couple more past Newcastle yesterday, if we had just stepped it up a gear I think we could have exposed a vulnerable defence a lot more than we did.
I have to point the finger at the midfield, we had four players in the middle of the pitch but there was only two pulling their weight, Nasri started the game well but faded away and was very ineffective, then there is Yaya Toure who did absolutely nothing until he decided he was ready to show his quality with a great pass to Dzeko in the build up to our first goal, as some of you may know I have always been a critic of Toure because he frustrates me, he could contribute so much more than he does but if he doesn't want to then he wont.

On the upside there were some really good performances on show, Fernando had a solid debut, Clichy worked tirelessly and Silva was up and down involved in both defence and attack, there are three players though that particularly caught my eye.

Stevan Jovetic looked bright again, he was strong, worked hard and is clearly a class act, for me he was trying to hard to score at times and just needed to let his natural ability shine through, once he settles into the team he is going to bag plenty of goals.

Aleksandar Kolarov, this guy has improved no end compared to when we signed him. Last season he grew on me because he seemed to be getting better with every game and yesterday proved that he is continuing in that trend, he looks so confident in his ability and bosses the left hand side of the pitch, if he keeps maturing as a player I don't think we will see a better left back than him all season.

Edin Dzeko, he was fantastic yesterday, he attacked well, he held the ball up well, he defended well and his work rate was second to none, his man of the match award was thoroughly deserved. Now I have always maintained that Edin looks a far better player when he works hard and that is definitely the case but his main problem is being consistent, hopefully he will keep turning out these selfless performances for the team because if he does he is a certain game winner.

All in all it was a decent performance against a good team away from home, it is clear that we can play much much better but it is only the first game and the main thing was that we came away with all three points.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Newcastle Utd vs Man City - Preview

           Newcastle United vs Manchester City
            Sunday 17th August, St James Park
                              Kick-off 16:00
                    Referee: Martin Atkinson

My blog is back, football season is back and most importantly our beloved league champions are back.

Hopefully everyone had time to enjoy a break from the stresses of league football over the summer and are now ready to do it all again as we go on the march for more trophies.

We have had a very predictable summer in terms of signings, we knew Zuculini was coming before the season ended and it was obvious Mangala and Fernando would be targeted after a failed attempt in the January window. We have also added Sagna and Caballero to the team and whilst I do not expect any of them to displace either Zabaleta or Hart, I do think they will prove to be strong signings when it comes to using all of your squad.

I am of course looking forward to the beginning of the season as always, however I am looking forward to this one without being able to decide whether its going to be a tough season or a comfortable one for our team.
I am reading a lot of articles that suggest it is going to be a very close run league this year and I think it could be, but then I also think that we are capable of blowing everyone away, I just can't commit to an opinion because I am just not sure yet.
I am quite sure though that we have the strongest squad in the league, I honestly don't think that man for man there is a squad better than ours, I also think  that we have the most balanced squad in the league and if Pellegrini can add some tactical awareness to that, I think we will be hard to beat in any competition.

Now to tomorrows match, despite improving on the previous season Newcastle are a team that I think slightly under achieved last season, with the addition of players like de Jong and Cabella I am expecting them to do much better again this time around.
Newcastle have some very talented players in their ranks and much like I said about Pellegrini getting his tactics right, if Pardew does the same with his players then I think they will be a dangerous team.

Unfortunately for Newcastle I think that if you were to pick a weak area in their team it would be the defence, they have pulled off a superb piece of business by getting rid of the very over rated Debuchy and brought in a very talented player in Janmaat but I think an experienced centre half at the very least was needed.
To be blunt, your Haidara's, Mbiwa's and Santon's of this world are not good enough to deal with the attacking threat of a team like ours and that's the main reason why I think we will comfortably win the game tomorrow.

As for us, well it is just back to business isn't it? We have made a few signings but I expect the team to remain very much the same as it was last season, of course this may depend on what formation Pellegrini plays.
The only definite change that I can see to the team will be Mangala and that might not be as straight forward as it seems considering the way Demichelis played for the second half of last season.
Along with Mangala the other player we signed with the strongest chance of becoming a first team regular is Fernando, but unless we stick one up top I don't see who he pushes out of the team, Fernandinho, Nasri, Silva and Toure are surely first choice, aren't they?
The only other thing I can think of if we are to play with a four man midfield is that Fernandinho will revert back to being an attacking midfielder when playing in the same team as Fernando, which could mean a lot of rotation in the midfield.

I suppose ifs, buts and opinions don't really matter at this stage, we will just have to wait and see what the manager decides to go with, one thing that can be considered a fact though, whoever plays we are going to be watching a great football team once again this season, a team that in my head and my heart I believe should win the league again, starting with three points at St James Park.

Man City Team News
New signing Eliaquim Mangala will not feature due to a lack of training and fitness, Alvaro Negredo is the only other player to definitely miss out with a broken foot. Sergio Aguero is rumoured to have picked up a groin injury and may not feature.

Newcastle United Team News
New signing Siem de Jong and Cheick Tiote both miss out with calf injuries, Papiss Cisse, Davide Santon and Ryan Taylor will also miss the game with all three suffering with knee injuries.

Possible Man City Line Up
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Silva, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Jovetic, Dzeko.

Possible Newcastle Utd Line up
Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara, Sissoko, Cabella, Gouffran, Anita, Ferreyra , Riviere.

My Prediction
Newcastle United 1 - 4 Man City.

Worth A Bet
David Silva scores the first goal in a 1 - 4 Man City win @ 120/1