Manchester City Forum - Manchester City v Feyenoord - 7.45pm Tue 21st Nov - UEFA Champions League Group Stage Preview and MD
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Manchester City v Feyenoord - 7.45pm Tue 21st Nov - UEFA Champions League Group Stage Preview and MD
19 November 2017 16:42 Post ID: #610979
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After despatching the Premier League champions of 2015/16 City return to action in the Champions League with a home fixture on Tuesday evening against Dutch side Feyenoord.

The victory against Leicester came at a cost though with the loss of John Stones for up to six weeks after the defender pulled up with a hamstring strain during the first half. This is a serious blow on a personal level and for the team given the young man's imperious form. His improvement this season has been palatable and has silenced many of the doubters who were quick to write him off after his first season at City. The absence of Vincent Kompany has see him step up and his acceptance of the mantle of organiser in the defence has not only demonstrated his leadership qualities but also bolstered his self-belief. He has become a better player and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Thankfully Vincent Kompany has returned to first team action although his first game back could have ended a lot sooner had Graham Scott chosen to issue a red card for his scything down of Vardy inside 3 minutes at the King Power. Thankfully he escaped this sanction but he will have to sharpen up quickly - we can ill afford to lose another defender with the Premier League games coming thick and fast and the derby less than a month away.

Having seen his side qualify for the knockout stages of the competition I expect Pep to ring the changes for this fixture against Feyenoord. Aguero may start having been rested after his dizzy spell during the international break but I fancy outings from the start of Tuesday's match for the likes of Bravo, Danilo, Mangala, Bernardo Silva and Gundogan.

Since their 0-4 defeat to City in the reverse fixture the wheels have somewhat come off Feyenoord's season. They went into the initial group stage match against City having won all their domestic games but in the subsequent 13 games they have only secured 3 wins whilst their opponents have continued a record breaking run. The Dutch side have lost all of their Champions League games so far conceding 12 goals in the process. In fact their record is a mirror image of City's who have netted 12 times and only conceded 3. Whilst Guardiola will be keen to maintain the momentum that his side have built up he may feel that the risk of losing the winning streak one worth taking to rest his players ahead of the away game against Huddersfield at the weekend especially as that game is swiftly followed on the Wednesday with a home match against Southampton.

As we approach the busy Christmas and New Year schedule Pep will be juggling his squad and trying to balance the needs of maintaining the head of steam that has been built up against the risks of player fatigue and the risk of injury. This is where he earns his corn but we can see the effects of his work with the players every game - he has built a team ethic which is reaping dividends and is finally make some nay sayers pay attention and grudgingly admit that he might know what he is doing.

Winning trophies in modern day football is done by the whole squad & this week we may see some of those other members of the group take centre stage.

Potential starting XI

Bravo

Danilo, Kompany, Otamendi, Zinchenko

Gundogan, Toure, Silva D

Sterling, Aguero, Silva B

Subs

Ederson, Mangala, Walker, Fernandinho, Sane, Foden, G Jesus
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19 November 2017 16:48 Post ID: #610981 - in reply to #610979
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Excellent taster. A good call, too, with regard to rotation. We've got games coming so thick and fast now, we'll simply have to.

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19 November 2017 17:22 Post ID: #610983 - in reply to #610979
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Zinchenko is not eligible for this game, unfortunately.

I wouldn't risk Kompany, want him fit for next weekend, 3 games in a week is a big ask for those dodgy calfs.

Hope to see Foden starting, come on Pep, you know it makes sense.
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19 November 2017 18:13 Post ID: #610988 - in reply to #610979
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I did umm & ahh about Kompany but yes, caution may well be advised given how fragile he is and now we have another defensive player out. Mangala may get some more time to try and change Pep's mind.

If Zinchenko isn't eligible then Delph might have to stay in the side unless Walker does and Danilo plays at LB.

Foden starting would be super
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19 November 2017 18:14 Post ID: #610989 - in reply to #610979
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Oh.....

I forgot to add.....

Come on City!!!
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19 November 2017 20:09 Post ID: #610995 - in reply to #610979
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I've seen people on Twitter mentioning Foden starting on Tuesday.
I can understand this, but first place has to be confirmed, and this may still not be the case, depending on events in Naples.
If it is secured, I wouldn't be adverse to starting the young lad at Shakhtar. It would be an interesting challenge to see what he's made of on the elite club stage.

My team at the moment (agree with Dub about saving Kompany)
Ederson, Danilo, Delph, Otamendi, Mangala, Toure, B Silva, KDB/Gundogan, Sterling, Sane, Aguero
Walker, Kompany/Adarabioyo, KDB/Gundogan, Fernie, D Silva, G Jesus
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19 November 2017 20:36 Post ID: #610997 - in reply to #610995
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You have to take a Gamble and hope as expected that Napoli will beat Shakhtar and therefore you can play a weakened team.


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20 November 2017 03:11 Post ID: #611001 - in reply to #610979
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This game should be an easy enough one to win provided we don’t become over confident and careless.
Ideal one to bring in a couple of youngsters and I disagree about Kompany, I think he can use this game to improve his finess.
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20 November 2017 06:51 Post ID: #611004 - in reply to #610979
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His fitness is a massive issue - my original thought on inclusion was around providing an opportunity to renew his CB partnership with Otamendi. The latter has been so used to having John Stones next to him - these two need to get to know each other quickly & hence my original pairing.

In Pep we trust.

He'll probably fox us all and play Mangala and Adarabioyo
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20 November 2017 07:44 Post ID: #611006 - in reply to #610979
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Intrigued to see what he does at left back.

He's been quoted as saying that he'll "change the team completely" against Feyenoord but I don't see how that's possible unless he gives a few of the youth players a run out.
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20 November 2017 08:04 Post ID: #611007 - in reply to #610979
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Pep will want to finish top of the group, but being brave and changing the team is in his DNA. I have no idea who Pep will pick other than Yaya and the Gunner will get a run for 90.
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20 November 2017 09:54 Post ID: #611012 - in reply to #611006
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Bluedub - 20/11/2017 07:44

Intrigued to see what he does at left back.

He's been quoted as saying that he'll "change the team completely" against Feyenoord but I don't see how that's possible unless he gives a few of the youth players a run out.



That quote was attributed to Pep for the Wolves game, I think. Although there were plenty of changes, the match day squad was till pretty strong for that one.
Suspect it'll be the same for tomorrow.

As I've possibly said before, first place needs to be confirmed, and we may only know on the night how we'll then have to approach the Shakhtar game in December.
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20 November 2017 10:00 Post ID: #611013 - in reply to #611012
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Yep, ideally we keep the winning streak going and top the group. I'm just worried about the likes of Delph playing too much given his injury history.

It's interesting this year too in terms of potential opponent in next round, the likelihood of drawing a top team is just as much regardless of finishing top or second in the group.


If we do top the group this is the oppo as things stand:

Basel
Bayern Munich
Juventus
Sevilla
Porto
Real Madrid

If we finish runner up it's

PSG
Roma
Barcelona
Besiktas
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20 November 2017 10:03 Post ID: #611014 - in reply to #610979
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Another issue worth noting is that DeBruyne is just one yellow away from suspension in CL ( the amnesty doesn't kick in until semi final stage) so preferably picks up that yellow in this game so that he gets his suspension out of the way before the knockout stages start.
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20 November 2017 10:14 Post ID: #611016 - in reply to #610979
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KDB would be one of those I've have in mind (along with D Silva) of not going to Ukraine if the situation after tomorrow night is favourable.
I wonder if we'll play Mourinho's trick?

Top/runner-up positions can probably change wildly given there's 33% of group games still to play.
Remember the only time we've topped the group before, we had a late surge to beat Borussia MG from 1-2 down, and Sevilla beat Juventus with a late winner?

I had this discussion of sorts the other day on Twitter. A draw in December can look a whole lot different in February/March when the extended last 16 stage is played.
Pretty sure the second time we drew Barcelona, they were going through a poor spell for them at the draw, but they still beat us fairly easily overall.

Edited by Colin Is The King 20/11/2017 10:15
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20 November 2017 10:30 Post ID: #611017 - in reply to #611013
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Bluedub - 20/11/2017 10:00

Yep, ideally we keep the winning streak going and top the group. I'm just worried about the likes of Delph playing too much given his injury history.

It's interesting this year too in terms of potential opponent in next round, the likelihood of drawing a top team is just as much regardless of finishing top or second in the group.


If we do top the group this is the oppo as things stand:

Basel
Bayern Munich
Juventus
Sevilla
Porto
Real Madrid

If we finish runner up it's

PSG
Roma
Barcelona
Besiktas


So, in essence, between a rock and a hard place.


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21 November 2017 12:28 Post ID: #611053 - in reply to #610979
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No tickets for the game on sale today.
May play a part in thoughts for Beat The Clock.
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