…following a day to forget last Sunday.
Oh yeah…and we have Gabriel Jesus available for selection.
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome.
Fluid 4-5-1 come 4-1-4-1 come 4-3-3 come 4-2-4…
___________(Outfield player with gloves on)_________
Usual suspect in and around that white, netted thing at the back.
A likely change of flanking defenders from the last game sees Aleks & Bacary step in; Nicholas & John in between those.
Pablo likely to be asked to provide another defensive midfield role and joined, once again, by Yaya & David…and I’m going for Kevin & Raheem to be given another chance to create and attempt to open-up the ‘oppo’ form the wing areas.
Sergio to be on the receiving end of all that creativity.
Willy on the bench as cover for the Spaniard and Gael possibly the only defender on the side. Similarly, Fabian possibly the only central midfield change-option and then after that it’s attack, attack, attack replacements in Nolito, Leroy, new boy Gabriel and Kelechi.
Notable absences: Vincent Kompany (likely to be given more time to increase fitness levels following injury), Fernandinho (suspended: 3 of 3 and, so, the last one…AGAIN), Fernando (just recovered from injury / not selected), Ilkay Gundogan (injured for rest of season) & Jesus Navas (not selected).
Do I agree with Pep’s (predicted) line-up?
Against a strong, energetic Spurs midfield, that selection could look a little ‘leggy’ and so I would hope to see Kevin & Raheem helping out considerably in a ‘fluid 5’. Other than that, it’s okay. If we (and perhaps now Pep?) had any faith in our keeper and defence - and possibly a world-class defensive midfielder - then what an attacking line-up we could have, especially at home!
Result? Not one pundit I’ve heard on the radio, at least and in the last few days, has put us down for a win – the best we’ve received is a ‘draw prediction’. I get why that is.
These are my ‘weighing-up factors’:
- Best defensive record in the league against a home side whose shooting accuracy radar has been ‘on the blink’ for some considerable time now.
- 19 goals scored in the last 6 league games against a home side defensive unit that scares the hell out of its own fans.
- 6 wins from 6 in the league (8 from 10) against an inconsistent City side who have won 6 but also lost 4 in the last 10 games.
Not sounding good this, is it?
- We’re at home (although that’s meant little so many times this season).
- We…SHOULD see a reaction following the Everton shambles.
- We’re boosted by the arrival of a talented forward / striker and…
- …at the risk of sounding even more desperate; they’re missing a really good and vital cog in their defence in the form of Jan Vertonghen.
All things considered? It’s a score draw for me.
Expected weather conditions during the game: Certainly chilly at 4C for the evening KO (5:30pm GMT) but nothing much doing; with overcast skies and barely a breeze to speak of.