Thursday, 17 October 2013

Fighting fit and raring to go!

Without actual confirmation from Manuel Pellegrini in the form of a pre-match press conference ahead of our trip to Upton Park, things are looking pretty good in terms of available personnel for the first of 4, back-to-back away trips.

All back safe & sound

In addition to no injury worries or fatigue from international duty to the likes of Hart, Zabaleta, Milner, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Nasri, Silva, Navas, Jovetic, Dzeko and Negredo etc., even better news was that both Aguero & Toure arrived back early; having not been required in their respective country’s last international game. Excellent news indeed as, to me, these two can tend to look particularly ‘sore’ when asked to squeeze in a large number of games in a short space of time. They should be really fresh and ready to attack the Hammers tomorrow!

Despite apparent reports in one newspaper this week that Vincent Kompany would be fit to participate in tomorrow’s game, stronger indicators are that the original date of 27th October away at Chelsea is more realistic.

Game time

It was good to see that both Jack Rodwell and Martin Demichelis got 90+ minutes under their belt for the EDS against Rochdale reserves the other night (Correction update: Demichelis played 45 minutes of this game). This was in 2-2 draw at full time (I think it must have been the Manchester Senior Cup); City winning on penalties.

This completes Jack’s return from injury and into match fitness but it was a pleasant surprise also to see Demichelis so close to a return. It sounded to me the other day as though having Martin on the bench for our Saturday trip to the capital was going to be a ‘bonus name on the bench’ but by the sounds of it he had a really good run out against ‘dale; being chosen to play a defensive midfield role so that he would see more of the ball and would do more running alongside Jack [as opposed to being in central defence].



Young midfielder Abdul Razak has made his loan move to Anzhi Makhachkala a permanent one. Good luck to the lad; sorry that it didn’t work out for him following his move to City from Crystal Palace in 2010.

Alex Henshall has joined Bristol Rovers on loan until 16.11.2013. The left-wing prospect signed from Swindon Town in 2010 also had recently been on loan to Chesterfield and hopefully this’ll be some more valuable first team action to add to his goal of one day breaking into the Manchester City first team.

EDS central defender George Swan has extended his loan at Sheffield Wednesday until 02.01.2014.

The match…

Hoping that I’ve not tempted fate by suggesting that we look in fine fettle going into a much long-awaited Premier League game tomorrow, here’s my predicted line-up and subs:









Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Milner, Nasri, Jovetic, Dzeko

  • I’ve just got a feeling that Pellegrini might save the more defensive and slightly more experienced Zabaleta for the CSKA Moscow game on Wednesday evening; giving, in Micah, the more attacking defender (even though it’s an away game) the chance to overlap with Navas on occasions. If that’s the case, West Ham had better have a very strong left-side!
  • I don’t like sticking Siva on the wing – personally I think he does much more damage through the middle and can sometimes be underused when out on the flanks. But away from home I suppose we have to protect the back 4 a little with Fernandinho sitting a bit deeper and we can’t afford not to play the in-form and somewhat rested Yaya. Sorry David, it’s left-wing for you tomorrow I believe…and sorry Nasri; it’s the bench for you I think.
  • I can’t see him not going with Aguero and Negredo up front and with, hopefully, Navas bombing down the right (I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him since the Newcastle game) they should lap up the supply!
  • Jack, I’m sure, will be very disappointed not to have made the bench if Manuel goes with this line-up but that’s simply down to such a strong, available (and sensible) substitutes line-up.

I just hope that Pellegrini doesn't 'do a Stoke' and weaken the team too much ahead of yet another Champions League game. If he doesn't, it should be a win for City...

Coming along nicely…

The development site of City’s new training academy across the road from the Etihad is really starting to take shape now and so I’ll pop down there again soon to take and post some more pictures for you all (I’ll make sure I take better batteries for the camera this time…).

Thanks as always for reading and for those who can get to watch tomorrow’s 5:30pm (BST) kick-off, enjoy the game!

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