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WBA v Manchester City - 8pm Weds 20th Sept - League Cup Match Preview and MDT
18 September 2017 09:41 Post ID: #606286
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Preview

City’s travels continue in midweek with a trip to the midlands where they face Tony Pulis’s WBA in the League Cup.

Doubtless all the pre-match media attention is likely to focus on how Pulis and WBA were able to hand on to the ‘jewel in the crown’ of their defence, Johnny Evans. After the much hyped transfer deadline day saga this will probably be portrayed as a ‘David vs Goliath’ success story and a triumph for the little guy given how WBA ‘stood up to the Bad Guys’ of the Premier League in the fight for Truth and Justice.

The truth is probably a bit more prosaic and revolved around the fact that, unable to secure a move for Elaquim Mangala and the funds that this would release, City exercised due caution & financial diligence to ensure that they remained the correct side of the FFP restrictions. But as that wouldn’t fit the narrative and is difficult to explain so the media will probably stick with the ‘refusing to be bullied’ theme despite the fact that it was they who set the player’s transfer fee.

After their demolition of Watford at the weekend the prospect of a fired up City side arriving might give the WBA players cause for concern. However their trepidation at City’s scoring of 15 goals in three games, 9 of those away from home, might be tempered by the potential changes which Pep may wring for this League Cup tie. The City coach knows where his priorities lie and, whilst he undoubtedly respects this domestic tournament, he is well aware that the real measure of his success at Manchester City FC will be based upon his progress in the Champions League and Premier League. As a result I would expect some rotation within the squad - a distinction which seems lost on the media when it comes to City. Other managers ‘sensibly rotate their squad to give “fringe” players a chance’ or “play the youngsters”; a coach at Manchester City usually faces accusations of “dropping” senior players and thus causing “doubts over their future at the club”.

On this theme Ederson (aka ‘Scarface’) may well be replaced by Bravo and one might expect starts for Sané, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan, Danilo, a potential return for Kompany and possible game time for Foden and/or Diaz. Just wait for the outcry if the sublime Aguero is ‘rested’, De Bruyne is given an evening to recover or Jesus is ‘benched’.

City arrive at the Hawthorns for yet another away fixture against Premier League opposition in a cup competition with much the same record against their opponents as they did when they stepped off the bus at Vicarage Road on Saturday. In the last six meetings between the clubs (all league) City have won all 6, scored 18 goals and conceded only 3*. A change in competition and the possible rotation of personnel makes these stats somewhat less predictable indicator of the outcome but one can be sure that the double factors of the whole squad knows that they are competing for places and combined with the obvious squad mentality which Pep is forging, then one can expect City to be playing with the same verve and zip that we have witnessed over the last remarkable week.

WBA come into this fixture without a win since 22nd August when they defeated Accrington Stanley in the previous round of the competition. Since then they have drawn at home against Stoke and West Ham and lost away to Brighton. Their average possession stat so far in the league is a tad over 41% and with City averaging 64%+ one can’t imagine that changing radically.

It is strange that before each of their last 3 fixtures City have been up against ‘tough opponents’ - ‘potential title challengers and the club with the most history in the world’ Liverpool, ‘Dutch Champions and revived league leaders’ Feyenoord and ‘fourth in the table, undefeated and not conceded a goal in there last 3 games’ Watford. After each of the comprehensive victories secured by City these descriptions were revised into “Well the sending off changed everything’; “It’s their first Champions League campaign for 15 years’; and “well it’s only Watford’. Little credit seems to have been awarded for the fact that perhaps their opponents created the conditions under which the results were crafted - hard work all over the pitch; an increasingly coherent understanding of what Pep expects from his players; a team unity and bond which engendered one of the most prolific strikers in Premier League history to pass to his strike partner when he could easily have opted to shoot himself (vs Liverpool) and to be happy to insist that his team mate take a penalty which could have yielded his 4th goal of the game (vs Watford) and moved him to with a single goal of equalling Eric Brook’s club goal scoring record…….

Generous, unselfish and already a club legend.

The changes that Pep Guardiola has been making at Manchester City are much more than the obvious ones constantly referred to in commentary - how much the players have cost. They run much deeper and bode well for the campaign which remains in it’s early stages. Many fans including plenty of Blues have rightly pointed to last season’s lightning fast start and the subsequent foundering after the turn of the year. Caution is needed. It is too early to get carried away but boy has it been a joy to watch and savour. The sight of Benjamin Mendy galloping down the left wing before fizzing in one of his almost pinpoint accurate crosses has been wonderful and is emblematic of the increased dynamism Pep has instilled in the players. They may have cost a lot of money but you still have to get them to play - and Pep is doing just that.

No live coverage of the game this week - no prizes for guessing which club’s fixture is being televised - so we’ll have to make do with using our imaginations as the action unfolds.

Come on City!!!

*Stats courtesy of Transfermarkt.com

Match Officials

Referee - Mike Jones
Assistants - D Cann; I Hussin
Fourth Official - Lee Mason

Stats** comparison:-

WBA

Goals per game - 0.8
Avg Possesion - 51.4%
Pass Accuracy - 72.5%
Shots per game - 10.4
Discipline - 7Y, 1R

City (Premier League)

Goals per game - 3
Avg Possesion - 64.3%
Pass Accuracy - 88.2%
Shots per game - 18.6
Discipline - 9Y, 2R

**Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

Team News

WBA are awaiting on the fitness of Chadli and O’Burke.

City await the potential return to fitness of Vincent Kompany.

Potential starting XI, subs & formation

Bravo

Danilo, Kompany, Mangala, Mendy

De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva B

Diaz, Sterling, Sané

Subs:-

Ederson, Stones, Silva D, Fernandinho, Delph, Aguero
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18 September 2017 09:54 Post ID: #606289 - in reply to #606286
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Have a feeling Jesus will start, only because he came off after an hour on Saturday, by the same token I don't believe Aguero will be involved at all in this one.

Fingers crossed we get to see Tosin, Foden and Diaz get some meaningful minutes.

Just looking at your XI there and have to admit to some concern regarding Mendy, we don't want to burn him out as there doesn't seem to be a natural replacement for him within the squad. Danilo can do it but still feel we're lacking there somewhat, if only Angelino's development hadn't stalled so dramatically.
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18 September 2017 09:55 Post ID: #606290 - in reply to #606286
Commander in Chief
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Thanks for the preview, but I don't think Pep will run with a front 3 as outlined. I expect Jesus to start at CF.
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18 September 2017 09:57 Post ID: #606291 - in reply to #606290
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Excellent preview Skoorb. I'm wondering if we might see Yaya in the squad for this one. If not, I think it can be assumed he's toast?

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18 September 2017 10:33 Post ID: #606293 - in reply to #606286
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I don't think Yaya's toast, as Pep has pointed out the reason for his absence so far has been made clear internally. Look back to the similar situation last season.
Having said that, I'll be surprised if he features.
Foden may get a run on the subs bench, as at the moment it's more important for the likes of Delph and Gundogan to build up game time.
A guide could be if the EDS have any fixtures in the next three days, and if Foden is involved.
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18 September 2017 14:20 Post ID: #606297 - in reply to #606286
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The predicted XI was a pure work of speculation - I juggled with a few permutations and ended up scratching my head.

I can understand where the concern regarding Mendy comes from but wonder whether he would be given a run out to get a taste of a domestic cup competition plus help with his match fitness. It is great having Danilo as cover........but I remain concerned that we are still light in the FB area especially given Fernandinho's form in his role as the Defensive Midfielder. I guess Delph could be deployed as a DM - but I did notice when he came on the other day that his touch and control were just not on the same level as the others in the team.

I think El Mago will get a rest along with Sergio - keen as he will be to play he needs to be kept as fresh as possible. Tosin might be a good shout especially if Kompany isn't fit.
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18 September 2017 16:03 Post ID: #606306 - in reply to #606286
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City have a midweek trip to the Hawthorns to look forward to on Wednesday evening in the Third Round of the Carabao Cup.

You can follow the game live via our Matchday Centre right here on mancity.com or on the CityMatchdayApp. Alternatively, we'll be tweeting live updates throughout.

Check out where you can watch the game around the globe, courtesy of livesoccertv.com.

https://www.mancity.com/news/first-team/first-team-news/2017/septemb...
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18 September 2017 18:23 Post ID: #606311 - in reply to #606286
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Good preview - lots of juicy paranoia too! If it was good enough for S** A*** F******* to build a siege mentality with at the swamp then it's good enough for us!

If I have a criticism it is that whilst you've mentioned Liverpool a couple of times, and who we played three games back - there is no gratuitous mention of Manchester United FC - currently in second place both by merit and thanks to our alphabet!

What is going on!!!!

For old times' sake:

Bravo, Danilo, Blue Mendy, VK4 (or Mangala if unwell), Stones, Kipling, Delph, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Red Kev, Sane.

Berti: GJ33, £49m, Foden, Diaz, Mangala (or Tosin), Walker.

1st: £49m
2nd: Foden
3rd: Mangala

Good times!

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18 September 2017 19:18 Post ID: #606316 - in reply to #606286
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If you want Vanilla, then vanilla it is.
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18 September 2017 21:02 Post ID: #606326 - in reply to #606316
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Skoorb - 18/9/2017 19:18

If you want Vanilla, then vanilla it is.


As I always say, nothing wrong with a bit of fudge every now and then...!

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18 September 2017 21:04 Post ID: #606327 - in reply to #606286
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But in the meantime let's batter my hometown team. Another 5 would be nice but I'll settle for four.

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19 September 2017 08:39 Post ID: #606339 - in reply to #606286
Chief Forum Editor
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Great review Skoorb, the selection is a nightmare scenario, unlike other Premier Clubs who have home games against lesser opposition, you would have thought that the cameras may have been at the Hawthorns for an all Premier League clash.

City are at home on Saturday to the beleaguered Palace, whilst West Brom get an extension before travelling to the Gunners on Monday night.

I assume this allows Mr Pullis to play his first team, but I like you Skoorb would be completely guessing and maybe had this been a lower league Club (unlikely I know) Pep might just have gone with a few EDS, but now I do not know.

Pep will want to win this but he will also have spoken to the fringe saying they will get games, especially regarding Diaz

my Guess

Bravo

Danilo Tosin Kompany Mangala, Mendy
Gundogan Delph Bernardo Sane
Jesus
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19 September 2017 09:01 Post ID: #606343 - in reply to #606286
Commander in Chief
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I like the team you picked Buzz, at some point we have to find out if Tosin is up for it. The Baggies will play their best side and at home are always tough to beat. 1-3 prediction.
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19 September 2017 11:31 Post ID: #606349 - in reply to #606286
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Match Officials

Referee - Mike Jones
Assistants - D Cann; I Hussin
Fourth Official - Lee Mason
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19 September 2017 11:38 Post ID: #606350 - in reply to #606286
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^loving his work

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19 September 2017 11:56 Post ID: #606354 - in reply to #606286
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That was astounding really. Utterly unfathomable decision. Did he book Aguero for 'simulation'?
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19 September 2017 11:57 Post ID: #606355 - in reply to #606354
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Skoorb - 19/9/2017 11:56

That was astounding really. Utterly unfathomable decision. Did he book Aguero for 'simulation'?


Yep
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