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.