It’s nerve-shredding time once more as we go to the Etihad tonight for ding ding Round Two of our Moneybags League quarter-final.
The team that everyone’s talking about, Ajax, meet the winners and here are ten reasons why it will be us paying through the nose for flights from London City Airport.
- It’s time for Son. The boy’s a superstar in S Korea and not far off the same in this country. His best form this season was when Kane was watching from the side-lines and whilst it’s not what we’d have chosen, thanks to a slope, a greasy pitch and some assistance from Fabien Delph, here we are again.
- The City crowd. The inhabitants of Eastlands have never taken kindly to European competition to the point where Pep has called them out. From the Guardian today – “the manager is “very curious” about how much their supporters care about reaching the last four of the tournament after it emerged that tickets were still on sale on Tuesday”. They’ve been the least vocal of the away fans to visit the new WHL thus far, they’ll be quiet tonight.
- The City players. Pep in the Guardian again – “I want to see that they want to get to the semi-finals, not just the players, the fans too,” said the City manager. Can they be bothered?
- Pep’s selection. He’s cautious of us. He knows our terrible luck with injuries will only feed our physicality, something he’s wary of. He knows he could play Sane, De Bruyne, Silva and Sterling, he knows they will get bullied and outrun, even without Winks and Harry. He can’t go full Citeh.
- Vertonghen, Eriksen, Lloris, Rose, Alderweireld, Llorente, Sissoko, Dele, Trippier. We have players all over the pitch who played at the highest level, World Cup finals and semi-finals, Euros semis and finals. They won’t be overawed, they’ll be focused and prepared. They know what needs to be done.
- Son’s goal last Tuesday. The one goal lead is the slenderest possible but place it alongside the clean sheet and all of a sudden, its significance grows. City are 1/4 to win tonight’s game but 6/10 to qualify. Over double the odds. They’re petrified that we’ll nick one and all of a sudden, they need three.
- Dele. Arguably our most talented attacking player. He’s had a pig of a season. Injured for too long, played out of position for too long, but he’s the man for the big occasion, the man for whom magic is just a way of life.
- Our fans. Man do we want this. We’ll show our team how much we care about reaching the next round and how proud we are of them punching above their weight to have got this far.
- Saturday. Man City & Pep have more than a small distraction from tonight, their toe-to-toe battle with Liverpool for the League title. Their game against Palace was blamed for Pep’s unusual team selection last week. Who are they playing this weekend? Oh, it’s us!
- Pochettino. What a man. He’s the reason we’re here. He’s the reason we dare to dream. He’s the man we know can deliver.
COYS. Let’s do ’em.
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