A rare week off and two players back from a short’ish injury lay-off is good news for us City fans; even if most of us may not-exactly be ‘jumping for joy’ that one of those players back in contention is Eliaquim Mangala.
For those particular fans, the other one is Fernandinho…
Further good news…
…in a way is that West Ham United have three-key players missing in Andy Carroll (isn’t he nearly always?), Manuel Lanzini & Diafra Sakho; although ‘flipping that on its head’ it means that they, like us, have all but those three available for selection.
So we HAVE those “three” missing players too, in a way…
- We have Aleks Kolarov, then sorely-missed Vincent Kompany, one not-so-missed - seeing as he’s been out for most of the season and, therefore, doesn’t really count - in Samir Nasri and one who splits opinion; albeit swinging more like 70/30 these days rather than 50/50 in Wilfried Bony. Other than that we have a fully rested bunch of top stars who should…SHOULD be able to take a Hammers side even on their own patch.
v West Ham United
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
Joe in net.
Gael to start on the left of defence for this one; like it or not I’m going for the returning Eliaquim to take his place alongside Nicholas in the middle of the back-4 and Bacary to get his ‘rotation turn’ back on the right.
Protecting those is likely to be last game’s MotM Fabian; the returning Fernandinho quite likely to get his starting place back and Yaya ‘in the mix’ with those two; to make it both a lively & creative central trio. Either side of those is the pace & trickery of Raheem and the grace & craftsmanship of David. Sergio to revert back to [from the last outing] a lone-man role.
On the bench is Willy as keeper insurance, Zaba the right-sided defensive replacement and Martin likewise for the centre of defence…should our French centre-back cause mayhem at some point. Fernando might see himself very unlucky to lose his place to his longer-named colleague; Jesus, Kevin & Kelechi the pace, creativity & goal threat from ‘the 7’ on the side.
Notable absences: Aleksandar Kolarov (injured), Vincent Kompany (injured), Samir Nasri (injured) and Wilfried Bony (injured).
Result? It will be a tough one for sure and it might all come down to which team made the most of a week off. All things considered, I’m actually going to stick with my pre-season / post-summer transfer window prediction of a draw, which will also continue a nice pretty Premier League pattern of W D W D W D in the last 6 games (this one included).
Some City fans will see that as “points dropped”, others might say they’d take that…