Well…it’s the ‘big one’! Well…the first leg of the big one at least.
Let’s just crack on with it then.
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome.
4-2-3-1 / 4-5-1:
Joe, of course, in net.
Rested at the weekend / on the bench after a slight niggly injury; Gael on the left and, in similar circumstances, Bacary on the right of defence. Vinny has stated he’s “100%” and, so, starts of course. Who will he partner? It’s 50/50 but I’m going for Spanish League-experienced Nicholas.
‘The Ferns’ to partner in the middle of midfield and both are likely to play a pivotal, energetic and largely defensive role. Ahead of those and in support of a lone Sergio, an attacking trio of Raheem, Kevin & David is probably the most dangerous combo we can muster.
Willy the keeper insurance on the bench; Zaba & Eliaquim in reserve for the defence. Fabian as an additional defensive midfielder; Jesus for some late pace / energy and 2 strikers in Wilfried & Kelechi
Notable absences: Aleks Kolarov (not selected), Martin Demichelis (not selected), Samir Nasri (not selected / not in the Champions League squad) and Yaya Toure (injured).
Do I agree with Pellegrini’s (predicted) line-up?
Yeah, can’t argue with that one bit.
Result? Tough one…both literally and ‘hard to predict’. Whether we can keep them from scoring, I just don’t know, but I’m going for a narrow home victory to take to their place.
Expected weather conditions during the game: After a period of sunshine & showers (UPDATE: some wintery) in the lead-up to the match; it should be mostly dry, overcast but feeling very cold at around 5C with a light, Northerly breeze; making it feel closer to 0C! Hard to believe it's May on Sunday...