2-week task: To stay within striking distance of Chelsea & Liverpool,
as we go into our first game-in-hand-match (
Sunderland at home). Do that and we’ll
go a long way to being ‘home & dry’!
But our first task: Beat Arsenal…or at the very least come away with a point.
As simple as that?
Well of course not…and football, of course, has more twists ‘n’ turns than the Snake Pass, even at this (very) late stage of the season - just yer 7 games left for our rivals!
Chelsea not playing
in mid-week, our emphatic win in Stretford and
Liverpool ever-so-slightly eking out a home win against lowly Sunderland;
all of a sudden the top of the league table picture looks a little clearer.
Just 2-points behind one of ‘em and just 3 behind the other with 2 games extra
to play over both of them; what is required of us, at least, is clear…if not so simple.
Another night at Cold Trafford; ANOTHER win
It’s becoming a (nice) habit isn’t it? In fact wasn’t that the first time we’d recorded THREE back-to-back swamp wins since the early 1970s? Something like that…
David Moyes sure is racking up a lot of Manyoo records, isn’t he? It’s ‘first time’ also in the Premier League era that they’ve lost 10+ home games in one season and Edin Dzeko’s 42-second strike was the fastest ever goal conceded at Stretford Rangers in the Premier League.
Well-done David! Keep it up fella…
Well, he’s done it again. Just when I think I’ve worked out Edin Dzeko [generally for being a low-on-confidence, ‘out of sorts’, sulky-pants who couldn’t trap a bag of cement let alone a football] he begins to ‘turn on the style’. Edin followed up his impressive display and goal-scoring at the KC Stadium with another fine display and ‘brace’ at the Theatre of Comedy. Well done him; long may it continue.
Demichelis too (even next to apparently ‘intimidating’ Kompany). He’s looking far more assured and his calmness and intelligent passing is very noticeable and effective at the moment. Still not sure I’d play his ‘reduced pace’ against Suarez, Sturridge & Co. but it’s too early to be talking about that one just yet…
Same again please Mr Pellegrini
With there being, most likely, still no Sergio Aguero available for this Saturday evening kick off at the Emirates Stadium, I think it’s gotta be ‘same again’ in terms of formation against Arsenal; if not exactly the same personnel [as last Tuesday night].
There has been no more news on our main ‘strike threat’ since Pellegrini’s announcement at the Manyoo, pre-match press conference, where he stated that Sergio was to re-join first-team training later this week.
This, to me, is either a purposely-secretive, low-key move to surprise us all by giving him a place on the bench against Wenger’s men…or he’s fallen behind with his rehab and might even be a doubt for the
Southampton home game a
week later. Either way, I don’t want him to be rushed back ahead of the Liverpool game or any of our vital, remaining games for
that matter. We need him back but fit to destroy the opposition in the
remaining 6 or 7 games.
Hart, of course; Kompany, of course, Zabaleta (you know the rest…)
And in the “of course” column I should really be adding Demichelis…and so I’ll do just that. There’s no WAY our Manager is going to drop the revitalised Argentinean and, to be honest, why should he at the moment?
Left-back is a bit of a quandary…but not much. I was going to suggest that he might like the counter-attacking option of Kolarov ‘from the start’ but these 4 are starting to properly gel and have been responsible for 3 out of 5 Premier League clean sheets in a row (the 2 Argentineans having playing in all 5)!
Equally I was going to suggest that Milner’s fine performance against Fulham could be repeated this coming Saturday; with both the attacking / supporting and defensive options that he gives us. But I’ve gone for our ‘Engineer’ using Garcia & Fernandinho as a protective shield; allowing the ‘3 usual suspects’ to have free, all-out, attacking reign in support of the in-form Dzeko. Navas, along with the rest, was excellent in the
I think he’ll go with Nasri, Toure & Silva as an attacking 3 for this one. Derby in a 4-1-4-1 and although I liked the look of that formation against Manyoo,
Even without Aguero on the bench (if that’s the case) we still have a very, very strong bench to choose from. If it’s not working out; the fact that we have Kolarov (for his attacking/crossing ability), Milner, Navas, Jovetic AND Negredo is absolutely awesome!
Result? Well The Gunners are shaky & flaky at the moment and although they’ll want to put both an appalling display & result at Stamford Bridge and a shock 2-2 home draw to Swansea City behind them ASAP – as well as them-being acutely aware of Everton’s threat just behind them in the league – our gushing confidence, if applied correctly, should be enough to come away with all 3 points.
My head is telling me, as it did before the
that I should be looking for this one to be a draw but, unlike the , I just can’t go
with that on this occasion. We’re playing with such vigour and self-belief at
the moment that I’m convinced we’ll be just too strong for them. It’s a City win
for me…and WHAT a win that would be! Derby