Man City come to WHL on Wednesday night in a game that gives us an early opportunity to get the taste of big bad wolf out of our mouths.
Weâ€™ve a good record against City at home with only one defeat in the last 12 games. Amazingly the result has been 2-1 to us in all of the last five seasons.
City have played a game less than us and weâ€™re a point ahead so a win would give us an important advantage as far as the statisticians are concerned. More significantly it would revive what has, surprisingly quickly, become a rather fragile looking tilt at the top four/five/six. Oozing confidence & class after the Wigan result, weâ€™ve picked up a mere two points from the nine available since. On the day Defoe missed a penalty that wouldâ€™ve given us an extra couple of points, Lampard missed from the spot at Middle Eastlands and City got all three against Chelski. Combine this with Villaâ€™s run of form and all of a sudden our tussle for third has become a fight for fifth.
If our defence continues to leak goals at an uncomfortable rate the forwards need to keep scoring. Harry seems to be playing an open style on purpose presumably believing that itâ€™s going to bring the best out of Lennon, Defoe et al and obviously the number of five (and nine) goal hauls weâ€™ve collected tend to prove him right. However weâ€™re firing blanks in an average of one in four of our league games which isnâ€™t good enough. City bring a defence that also finds clean sheets an aberration so in theory we should be in for a goalfest. That nice Craig Bellamy is suspended which means we may get a look at potential January target Martin Petrov. Badebayor should be playing up front with Tevez unless Hughes goes for the seasonal touch & the fresh legs of Santa Cruz. Wayne Bridge is injured and Alan Wiley is the ref Hughes will be moaning about afterwards.
For us Jermain Jenas is still recovering from his Friday night lasagne so is doubtful whilst Modric isnâ€™t fit enough to start. Thus Crouch for Keane may be the only swap from Saturday. A win is needed to clear the current depressed air around the side. Things could be better no doubt but our good start to the season means weâ€™re still in a strong position. City have shown theyâ€™re a decent side and so anything half hearted and weâ€™ll suffer, but if we show full commitment then we have the firepower to lift the spirits & banish the Sky Blues.
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