It’s been a fun week. Our rarified oxygen status in the table has led to an awful lot of people getting carried away – dare to dream, start to believe, etc; rein yourselves in, there’s a long way to go. There are 39 points still to be fought for, the first three of these go up for grabs on Sunday when we take on Man City at the Etihad in the late kick off.
Our record at Middle Eastlands used to be superb until the money arrived to change the Manchester landscape both literally and figuratively. Our last win there was the Crouch game in May 2010 I think. We followed that season with a couple of good performances and narrow losses but since then the games have been a tad one sided with Sergio Aguero in particular enjoying himself for the home team.
I love Eric Dier
This same Aguero didn’t have a kick though when (with the help of the linesmen) we turned City over in the September sunshine earlier this season and that’s because, as everyone is starting to learn, we’re not the same side as the one that’s been turning up over the last few years. Gone are Kaboul, Dawson, Fazio and Chiriches, the players that Aguero used to love playing against, also banished is any timidity and lack of belief. This is a team that’s proud, positive, resilient, reliable and confident. It defends, it scores, it never gives up. On that basis, it’s no wonder that people are getting carried away!
City’s chastening experience last weekend at the hands of Leicester will probably not have shocked all their fans, even from long range it’s been obvious that they’ve got major problems in defence in particular and struggle to score goals when Aguero is unfit. Well both ‘Kun’ and Kompany may well be in their starting eleven this weekend which will be a morale booster for them if nothing else. Elsewhere De Bruyne and various midfield and defenders are out but Silva, contrary to what has been reported for most of the week is available. The fact that City might include two players struggling with injury and Yaya Toure who is struggling with life can only be good for us.
We can expect a few changes to the side that beat Watford last weekend. Alli will start in place of Chadli probably and Son may replace Lamela though Pochettino may feel that the Argentine’s energy is important in allowing us to start quickly. At the back Wimmer will have face his first big test and, if he follows form, Rose and Walker will come in on the wings as full-backs.
Chances of Jingle Bells?
Much depends on City’s reaction to last week’s defeat and on which team scores first. If we start at pace, push them back and take the lead then we should collect another three points. If we give them a sniff then they’ll grow in confidence and it’ll be tough.
Twattenburg is down to referee so expect the unexpected.
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