After an opening-day home draw, a sending off and a fall-out regarding his medical staff; expect a ‘reaction’ and a tough, tight game against The Pensioners on Sunday (4:00pm KO BST).
Could also be a good time to play ‘em though…
In contrast we saw a masterclass performance and clean-sheet victory by City away at WBA and with no NEW injuries reported; at home tomorrow and with that huge confidence-building performance & result; then in many ways this could be the perfect time to face Chelsea.
Straight to it then…
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome...
4-5-1 come 4-3-3:
From back to front…
‘Back 5’ (including the keeper)…almost the same [as against The Baggies last Monday]. Sagna – a player I like – did nothing wrong on Monday night of course but I think we’re all hoping [after a quiet season-last by his standards] that ‘our Zaba’ can rediscover his superb form. I’m going for Manuel Pellegrini hoping that his Argentine right-back can start that form on Sunday against last season’s champions.
With both Fernando [groin] & Delph [hamstring] absent; Fernandinho to continue as the deepest-lying midfielder. I just hope he can hammer-out the clumsiness from his gameplay.
Up front? I’m just guessing that our manager will hope to hit ‘em quick while ‘the oppo’ might be a little uncertain & cold…and what better way to-do-just-that than to top that attacking quartet with a slice of Sergio Aguero; who should be ready for a start now I think.
Willy as keeper ‘back up’ of course and strong defensive cover on the bench in Bacary, Jason & Martin; the latter probably ‘in there’ as a defensive midfield cover-option again. Samir for replacement creativity cover and strong options also up front in Kelechi & Wilfried.
Notable absences: Clichy (back in training / recovering – might make the bench), Delph & Fernando (both injured).
Wanting to put their opening day home draw behind them and move on ASAP; Chelsea are a side packed with quality...particularly in the creative department accross the middle. And with their manager one of the best in the world at nullifying the opposition when required to; we'll need all of our inventiveness & energy that we displayed against Albion in midweek to crack 'em.
But whether it’s the approaching hours [to kick off] that’s turning my optimism volume-dial up a notch or whether, overnight, I have subconsciously absorbed all of yesterday’s analysis whilst asleep I just can’t say for certain. Whatever it might be…I’m turning yesterday’s ‘score draw’ prediction into today’s narrow victory for the lighter blues. It’s a new, South Stand, 3rd-tier-debut home win.