City v The Mags - Who Would You Select?
After a double-barrelled week when we played and beat Chelsea and toiled to a draw against Juventus, who would you select for tomorrow's vital match against Newcastle?
Smarting once again from a late comeback by Stoke City, Newcastle must be really up for this one, with Joey Barton no doubt keen to shine against a positively glowing midfield of which he was once a member.
So who does City put him up against tomorrow? For me it has to be this season's hero Nigel de Jong, who last week didn't give Essien a sniff and who in my opinion was missed on Thursday.
The back line once again has its casualties. Kolarov won't make, neither will Richards nor Zabaleta and with Lescott looking fit again the choice is between him, fit again Boateng and the emerging and magnificent Dedryck Boyata. My heart tells Mancini to extend this remarkable young man's run in the team but my mind says it will be Boateng at right back and Lescott at left back.
Adebayor doesn't want it enough and heads back to the bench (once again he is talking about getting away in January, with Juventus now on his wish list) and the rest of the midfield is working hard to caputre the attention of Roberto Mancini in order to get the starting nod. I suspect that Johnson joins Adebayor in the dugout, but will play a role over the last half hour.
My starting line-up is therefore:
Hart: Boateng, Toure, Kompany, Lescott:
Silva, Toure Yaya, de Jong, Barry, Milner:
I will expect Boyata and Johnson to come on in the second half as Boateng and Silva withdraw, with perhaps Adebayor relieving Tevez near the end. If it was down to me I would have John Guidetti in there and put him on instead of the want-away man.
Newcastle are no mugs and I have great respect for their manager Chris Hughton who got the job probably because they can't afford anyone else, or the owner doesn't want to pay the kind of money demanded by a bigger name, but who with limited resources is building a useful outfit. I think we will be too good for them in midfield and I think that Tevez will benefit together with Silva and hopefully Milner breaking his duck.
The Mags will find it difficult to break City down and Carroll will have to toil long and hard. A comfortable win for City and if results go our way we could be in second place by tomorrow night. Now wouldn't that annoy Stretford's finest?