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VMC Preview: MCFC v Leicester, Team Predictions

This cup replay has all the necessary ingredients of a cup classic. A fired-up Leicester side should travel to Eastlands full of belief whilst City will be looking to progress in a competition they believe is a very attainable trophy.

Kick Off: 19:45 GMT

Live on: ESPN

City's Team News:

Silva is set to start after recovering from his swollen knee and impressing in training over the last few days. City have missed the Spaniard`s passing influence in midfield, deploying Tevez in his adopted role against Wolves. Balotelli and Richards are both sidelined with knee and back injuries respectively, Mario could be out for up to a month whilst Micah`s problem is deemed less serious and he could make his return in the next round of the cup, should we progress.

The likes of Barry, Tevez, Yaya and Zabaleta should all be rested after their performances at the weekend, vacating roles in the side for the 'cup specialists` - Lescott and Vieira. Most notably though, could be the inclusion of the much maligned Brazilian striker J. To put it simply, he is most certainly not a crowd favourite and after his performances at the Emirates and the Walkers Stadium; the fans have turned against him. And with the forced absence of Dzeko, the disintegration of Adebayor and the injury to Balotelli, this could be J`s only real chance to make an impact for the rest of the season.

Boateng should get a start at right back, I`d like to see him deployed at centre back but I think Lescott will get the nod alongside Vinny, after Kolo limped off in the second half at the weekend. Hopefully, Kolarov will continue at left back and will provide that integral outlet down the flank. The ageless Vieira should be partnered by de Jong in central midfield with Milner providing the drive from the middle.

Here is what I expect the team to look like:

Probable City Team:

4-2-3-1

1) Given

17) Boateng - 4) Kompany - 19) Lescott - 13) Kolarov

34) de Jong - 24) Vieira

11) A. Johnson - 21) Silva - 7) Milner

27) J

Leicester's Team News:

New loan signing Yakubu is ineligible whilst ex-City striker Darius Vassell is a doubt with a hamstring strain. And having sold proven marksman Matty Fryatt to Hull, Leicester will probably name Steve Howard as their lone striker. Miquel Victor is also out with a hamstring injury but Sol Bamba will looking to make a similar impact from centre half than he did in the previous fixture.

Probable Leicester Team:

4-5-1

Weale

Naughton - Hobbs - Bamba - Berner

Dyer - Abe - Wellens - King - Gallagher

Howard

Match Prediction:

After showing immense fighting spirit in the initial tie and looking the more likely of the two sides to win, I think Leicester will be slightly frustrated about not taking their chances and finishing the tie off. The team fielded by Mancini at the Walkers as devoid of arguably the three most important players in our side - Nigel de Jong, Vincent Kompany and David Silva. The mentioned trio will probably start the game tomorrow; providing a stern spine to the team that was lacking previously. Mancini could start Tevez from the beginning and bring him off at half time (presuming we are in the lead) but I think he will leave the talismanic Argentine on the bench and bring him on, should he need him. The predicted team should be able to dispatch of a Leicester side lacking attacking penetration due to their absences.

Leicester`s most dangerous player is Andy King who`s late surges into the box must be tracked by de Jong. However, their most likely way of scoring will be courtesy of the pin-point crossing from Gallagher. The bustling Steve Howard will provide more of a physical presence in attack than the channel-running Vassell did and will be keen to attack crosses. Sven will get his team well up for the game but I fear that City will have too much for the promotion-pushers who will struggle to deal with the trickery of Silva. I think Leicester will start well but City will dominate possession (in contrast to last time) and create enough chances to secure the win. If Leicester take the match to extra time I will be very impressed and they will deserve credit for doing so but I think City should have enough in the tank. Match Prediction: MCFC 3 - 1 Leicester.




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The journalist

Writer: bigal84 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 17 2011

Time: 11:06PM

Your Comments

Really looking forward to this match, sat right next to the away fans!
Scragg
I tend to think city will score a few and will win with some comfort. Not sure they will keep a clean sheet but the fire power is much higher than that of leicester and I see city winning by 3 or 4 goals to 1.
SFC Forever
If we play Jo again we're asking for trouble but Johnson has scored a few lately so we wouldn't be completely devoid of goalscorers. If Tevez has to be rested again, I'd still have him on the bench in case. A shame the rules block Dzeko from playing as it would have been another good chance to ease him into English football. And Balotelli is still out...
StuMCFC
Jo, cannot pass, head or get more than 1 out of 10 shots on target, Adebayor is ten times better than JO and cannot get a game. Sometimes I think Managers should swallow their pride and player plyers that disagree with them, surely its in their best interests to play well for potential buyers to get them away from their so called nightmare.
Buzz Lightyear
Well of the topic, just thought I'd pop on to vitalcity and ask something. Just read the stuff about Balotelli, and the sheer disloyalty he is showing to your club. Since you've been taken over you've spent hundreds of millions, stupid amounts. For arguments sake say you faded away this season, finished 5th/6th. The owners decide the club isn't for them, sell on and leave the new owners with wages they cannot pay. Say it was suggested that the players take a wage cut to normal wages that you'd get at Spurs etc. how many players do you genuinely think would show loyalty and take a cut?
nicktheyido
Nick, enlighten me here, when you say disloyalty are you talking about the rehashed quotes from Mario in today's papers in which he says he would like to play for Milan in a couple years time? As for your hypothetical question, it is a nonsense. If Spurs owners were to walk away and the new owners couldn't afford the wages that were being paid then how many of the Spurs players would stay "loyal"?
Bluedub
We need this job doing quickly tonight. An early goal for the Blues would be ideal.
Johnny Baguette
Blue, the fact is that Spurs has been ran by the same man for numerous years in a stable manner, with a strict wage-structure - hence why we're not signing players of the quality of you, so any takeover of spurs wouldn't be an issue. There's only so many Arabs that could take over City and ensure the club doesn't fold. I'm not even having a dig, was a genuine question, what guys do you think would stay pending on their wages dropping to... Say 45-60K a week?
nicktheyido
nick. You say your owner is a loyal man been there for years. Who says Sheikh Mansour is going? Nobody, so for all you know he could be there a similar length to Levy at your place. That's probably the worst question possible.
taggarts nose
The owners can't pull away, they have already committed to projects that will take up to 10 years to complete in and around the stadium. They are spending millions to a). buy land and b). remediate it (as some of it is contaminated from old mines, etc.). The club is a long-term project for them but it is only the start of a huge entertainment/leisure area based around City.
StuMCFC
 

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