It’s not that long ago that Man City, perhaps ranking only behind Everton, were our Premier League bunnies. Home or away it was generally “Three points? Thanks very much. See you next season – if you’re still in this division”. But then came the oilmen and now the fluorescent pink boot is very very firmly on the other foot. Since that beautiful night in May 2010 when Crouch’s header put us through to the Moneybags League we have taken just an embarrassing 4 points from 30 against them and suffered several rabbit in the headlight hammerings.
Another few visits to the Dirham well during the summer (£150m plus spent according to several oh so reliable websites) has led to 5 wins out of 6 for the current league leaders thus, despite our own half decent form of one league defeat in six and three clean sheets in succession we approach Saturday lunchtime’s game at WHL with emotions veering more towards trepidation than optimism.
The irritating League Cup defeat is still fresh in the memory but few of the players will have physical scars with only Eriksen, Kane, Chadli and Dier of Wednesday’s starters likely to be in the frame to begin tomorrow. The back five will be brand new and Son will presumably start with or behind Kane. Who make up the other four of the eleven will be interesting though. Assuming Mason and Bentaleb are still out then Dier, Alli, Eriksen and Lamela probably isn’t a bad shout though Pochettino does like Chadli – a lot more than many of the fans do. There’s a chance he may give Kane a rest too.
City have a few injuries to concern them, Silva and Kompany missed the defeat to West Ham last week and Zabaleta, Nasri and Mangala are also doubts I think. We all know that they have the resources to replace them though.
Given that our defence has looked far more solid so far and that Kane has got to start scoring sometime I personally think we go into this game in better shape than it looks on paper. Our possession stats have been great this season and assuming we don’t make silly mistakes we can limit the amount of opportunity to create chances whilst we build pressure of our own, mostly through the workrate of Kane and Son and the inventiveness of Eriksen and Alli. I don’t see why we can’t have a very pleasant start to the footballing weekend.
One piece of bad news though, the referee is Twattenburg.
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