With a few personnel changes likely on the night - both 'forced' and 'by design' - I expected us not to be the devastating force from the previous 8 games but, let’s not forget, we did win and progressed regardless.
Pep is a perfectionist though and won’t have been happy with that - a few performances aside, such as young Aleix Garcia – and we can expect a return to a much more familiar team selection and high performance this afternoon.
…and to finish that off, this is what I posted yesterday morning on one forum:
It's not such a bad thing to have an 'off game' amidst fine form and superb displays - keeps all on their toes (management team in particular) so that they can address issues ready for the next game.
There were lots of changes and so I, for one, didn't expect the same level as seen in the previous 8 games and, let's not forget, we came out of it with a win and progression in the League Cup.
Tomorrow will be different...as will the next round of the so-called EFL Cup.
Straight onto it then.
v Swansea City (again)
Predicted starting 11, subs and outcome.
Fluid 4-5-1 come 4-3-3 come 4-2-4:
Claudio to resume his Premier League education between the sticks.
A back-4 of Aleks, Nicholas, John & Bacary is highly likely and, taking nothing away from Gael & 'Pablo senior', is proving so far to be an efficient one.
Fernandinho is likely to step back into his midfield role for which he’s performed so very well so far this season; ahead of him is likely to be Ilkay & Kevin. Either side of them I think we’ll see Raheem back to his left-hand-side position and on the opposite flank, Leroy.
Back from suspension...it's Sergio up front.
Willy takes his place back on the bench and having played in midweek; Gael & Zaba are likely to join him. Back from injury and having played a ‘full 90’ on Wednesday; Fernando should be make ‘the 7 on the side’. As mentioned, Aleix was impressive against The Swans and should, therefore, make the bench also. I think David has recovered from a recent niggle and, if so, should make the bench too. Iheanacho the obvious striker replacement option.
Notable absences: Vincent Kompany (injured), Fabian Delph (not selected), Jesus Navas (not selected), Nolito (suspended for 2 more domestic games) and Yaya Toure (deemed not fit for selection until dispute with agent is over).
Do I agree with Pep's (predicted) line-up?
Nowt wrong with that.
Result? It should be 10 wins from 10 under our new manager.
Expected weather conditions during the game: Dry, overcast and with a more than robust, Southerly wind. Despite the strength of the wind, it’s a reasonably warm 66F for the back end of September.