Writer: Tranmere Loyal
Date:Tuesday December 6 2011
As we approach what should have been one of the most vital matches of the season, against Bayern Munich, at the Eithad Stadium tomorrow night, what team do you think Mancini should field?
Essentially this looks like a dead rubber, where even if City wins, there is no guarantee of progress in the most prestigious and lucrative Club competition in world football. So should Mancini put in some of the fringe players or should he go for it and try to win a match against one of the planet's leading Clubs?
I cannot see Mancini offering City up for a hiding and I'm sure he would love to measure their progress against Bayern based upon the match in Munich earlier this season, when City were perhaps given their only football lesson of the season.
Ever since the Allianz Arena debacle, City's football looks to have moved to a different level domestically. The Allianz Arena looks like a stadium from another planet and City's football in the Premier League has moved in a similar direction, so whereas the temptation to go with a 'midweek' team must be there, with Chelsea and Arsenal next up in the EPL, I suspect that many of the usual names will appear on the teamsheet tomorrow night.
I suspect it could be Dzeko up top with perhaps another short match for Super Mario. There could also be short time for Yaya Toure who we will need to boss the match against Chelsea. There might also be a shout for Johnson, with Silva the beneficiary of the bench at an early point.
We are looking a bit thin on defensive cover right now with Kolarov and Zabaleta adorning the treatment tables at Carrington. I would prefer to see Richards and Clichy both available against Chelsea. Surely though it is not a night for whichever younger lads make up the squad?
I cannot see Villareal getting anything against Napoli. The Italians have the same kind of counter-attacking style as City and should destroy the workmanlike Spaniards in similar fashion. I cannot see Villareal living with Lavezzi out wide and Cavani will probably be devastating.
So it's probably a 'heads you win, tails I lose' call for Roberto tomorrow.
I see Tevez has suddenly woken up, or more likely his agent has as we head in to December. The fallen homesick hero wants to play in Europe. He wants to play a major role in a major team in Europe. In short he wants to be loved again.
Various Italian teams are said to be in the frame, but with the shortage of cash over there, how do they think they are going to fund it?
Talks are said to be under way with AC Milan about a 'possible loan deal'. City seem to be adamant that it is not an option without a contractual purchase clause.
No doubt this will cast a shadow on the transfer window yet again.
I also hope that Kolo Toure's reported comments about his current plight at the Etihad and in particular his alleged attack on a colleague's performance, fall into the 'lost in translation' basket.
If not, some of what we hear is a little undignified and could see another of the squad standing at the bus stops on Ashton New Road in January.
Watch out for the Ped Report on Thursday morning!!
Date:Tuesday December 6 2011
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