Manchester City Forum - Shaktar Donetsk v Manchester City - 7.45GMT Weds 6th Dec - UEFA CL Group Stage
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Shaktar Donetsk v Manchester City - 7.45GMT Weds 6th Dec - UEFA CL Group Stage
04 December 2017 14:35 Post ID: #612343
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Having maintained their 8 point lead at the top of the Premier League with another resilient display against West Ham at the weekend, Pep Guardiola and his squad - well some of them - head off to the frozen wastes of the Ukraine for the final match in the group stage of the Champions League.

The link between the UEFA fixture computer and the machine used by the Premier League were clearly working in harmony when determining their respective fixture lists - what better preparation for a derby match than a 3,000m round trip flight whilst your PL opponents play at home the preceding day and benefit from not travelling? Thankfully with City having already won the group and qualified for the knockout round of the competition Pep has at least the option of benching some of his regular first team picks. I guess we can only be grateful that the PL didn't decide to insist the derby be played on the new Friday evening slot.

I expect some changes to be rung by Guardiola as he prepares to face the nearest challengers for the Premier League title next weekend.

Run outs for the likes of Bravo, Toure, Danilo and Gundogan should be on the cards and perhaps starts for some of the younger members of the City UEFA Champions League squad - http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2018/clubs/club=5291...

Tosin Adarabioyo may well get a start in defence alongside Mangala and perhaps we might see the Player of the U17 World Cup Tournament, Phil Foden, get his chance in midfield? Whilst Guardiola is well aware of the need to maintain the winning momentum that his squad have enjoyed, he will also be acutely aware that the real focus has to be on ensuring that the squad are fit and raring to go for the derby next Sunday. He will naturally say that the next game is always the most important.....but to abuse the words of George Orwell, we all know that whilst all games are equal, some are more equal than others.

Apart from the absentees of Mendy and Stones, Pep will have a full squad to pick from aside from De Bruyne who is suspended for this fixture and will not travel. Well, that's not strictly true as it seems he & his wife will be spending some quality time in sunny Abu Dhabi courtesy of MCFC whilst his team mates are donning their gloves in Kharkiv. Whether this has anything to do with the desire of the club to discuss tying him up to an better contract is anyone's guess.......

Shahktar come into this game knowing that they need a point to qualify from the group as runners up. Three points ahead of Napoli - who will almost certainly defeat Feyenoord - they have to avoid defeat to qualify and so they are unlikely to sit back. Normally this would be ideal and provide the space for City's playmakers to exploit but given that City will not field their usual starting XI we ought to be prepared for a less fluent display from the Blues. However, Toure, Gundogan and Danilo are hardly inexperienced and we ought to have enough in the locker to secure qualification without defeat.

Predicted XI & subs:-

Bravo,

Danilo, Adarabioyo, Mangala, Delph

Gundogan, Toure, Foden

Diaz, Jesus, Silva B

Subs: (anyone's guess really but here goes....)

Muric, Walker, Kompany, Fernandinho, Sane, Bolton, Aguero

This is a game City need to get done and dusted before they return to Manchester and prepare for the main event at the weekend. Once the Champions League games are out of the way stand by for the media to go into massive hype-overdrive.

In the meantime - anyone travelling to the Ukraine stay safe and warp up warm. Predicted temps for the game are for a high of 1C and a low of -1C. Gloves on!

Come on City!!!
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04 December 2017 15:11 Post ID: #612348 - in reply to #612343
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I think that 17 won't be far off.

I reckon the odds are 75% loss, 25% win as it currently stands, but I'd take the draw right now if offered.

I remember Kiev coming to ours in Pellegrini's last season, and playing out a mundane 0-0 draw after losing the first leg 3-1.
My theory then was they just wanted to save face, and it wouldn't surprise me if Shakhtar do the same. We'll see.
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04 December 2017 15:14 Post ID: #612349 - in reply to #612343
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CITY SQUAD: Bravo, Ederson, Grimshaw, Walker, Danilo, Kompany, Mangala, Otamendi, Adarabioyo, Delph, Fernandinho, Toure, Gundogan, Bernardo, Foden, Diaz, Sterling, Sane, Aguero, Jesus

My prediction of Muric was off - Grimshaw has travelled.

David Silva has also been given the week off - he should be fresh for the derby.
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04 December 2017 15:23 Post ID: #612350 - in reply to #612343
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Not happy with the number of first teamers travelling.

For example Delph should not be anywhere near that pitch, nor should Kompany.

One of Aguero or Jesus should've stayed at home too.


The likes of Lautidebiere, Duhaney and Nmecha should be travelling with the squad in place of those I've named.
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04 December 2017 16:17 Post ID: #612352 - in reply to #612343
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I was hoping to see a few of them absent too - an ideal opportunity to blood someone the youngsters but I can understand why he kept the squad together. Hopefully it doesn’t mean they will all feature.
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04 December 2017 18:14 Post ID: #612354 - in reply to #612343
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Point I've seen put forward is that the policy of stopping overnight at the away venue is being continued, with a training session there the following day before returning home.

I understand the views expressed, but it's worked OK so far this season, and I'm sure the club must've given this one extra thought, but we've known about it since late August.
The only thing we didn't know then was how exceptional our progress so far has been.
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04 December 2017 19:53 Post ID: #612364 - in reply to #612343
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I remain confident that we can get something from this match and put Napoli out of this competition. Just hope that all our men return safe and that a couple of youngsters get a start with Yaya running the show from deep midfield. Come on City, keep the run going.
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04 December 2017 22:19 Post ID: #612370 - in reply to #612350
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Bluedub - 4/12/2017 15:23

Not happy with the number of first teamers travelling.

For example Delph should not be anywhere near that pitch, nor should Kompany.

One of Aguero or Jesus should've stayed at home too.


The likes of Lautidebiere, Duhaney and Nmecha should be travelling with the squad in place of those I've named.


Totally agree.

Can't really see us winning this but could imagine both teams 'settling' for a half hearted draw, both teams will want to avoid defeat but we will want to avid any sort of injury or knock.

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05 December 2017 04:02 Post ID: #612373 - in reply to #612343
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No good risking top players in this game.
Right on Bluey.
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05 December 2017 10:16 Post ID: #612382 - in reply to #612343
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He may yet surprise us and play a side with no regular starters, one thing for sure Pep has had his eyes opened to the Premier League last season, with that dedication which he has drilled into all his sides from the first Team down to all the levels on the lads ends and even to the Women's team, with success.

He will want to win on Wednesday, but will he risk playing some key players I don't think so.

Another super preview and not sure if he should go with Delph, he did give us a clue to breaking down flat back 10 teams, by playing two strikers.

As Skoorb tells us above the squad has 20 players, so we assume that Grimshaw and Kompany to sit this one out. The other will make up the team and the Bertie.
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05 December 2017 10:31 Post ID: #612384 - in reply to #612354
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Colin Is The King - 4/12/2017 18:14

Point I've seen put forward is that the policy of stopping overnight at the away venue is being continued, with a training session there the following day before returning home.

I understand the views expressed, but it's worked OK so far this season, and I'm sure the club must've given this one extra thought, but we've known about it since late August.
The only thing we didn't know then was how exceptional our progress so far has been.


I can see the logic in that approach but at the same time have to question the policy when it comes to perma-crocked players needlessly travelling.

Looking at that squad it seems one of Walker or Delph has to play, which is absurd.

Are the under19s travelling too? Hoping Pep springs a surprise and drafts one of the kids in from their squad to fill in at fullback.
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05 December 2017 10:42 Post ID: #612386 - in reply to #612384
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Bluedub - 5/12/2017 10:31

Colin Is The King - 4/12/2017 18:14

Point I've seen put forward is that the policy of stopping overnight at the away venue is being continued, with a training session there the following day before returning home.

I understand the views expressed, but it's worked OK so far this season, and I'm sure the club must've given this one extra thought, but we've known about it since late August.
The only thing we didn't know then was how exceptional our progress so far has been.


I can see the logic in that approach but at the same time have to question the policy when it comes to perma-crocked players needlessly travelling.

Looking at that squad it seems one of Walker or Delph has to play, which is absurd.

Are the under19s travelling too? Hoping Pep springs a surprise and drafts one of the kids in from their squad to fill in at fullback.


We don't have that big a squad contrary to some media hacks, so they have to travel because we have to declare a team, just hope that they keep warm and come back safely.
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05 December 2017 12:04 Post ID: #612387 - in reply to #612386
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Only 21 in the squad lodged with UEFA believe
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05 December 2017 12:24 Post ID: #612388 - in reply to #612387
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Maureen says that Matic is injured, but he said that last week and he still played against Arsenal, he just tells big Porkies, I wouldn't trust him ever, because he is underhand and devious, he should take up politics.
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05 December 2017 12:44 Post ID: #612390 - in reply to #612343
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Machiavellian doesn't bergin tpo describe him. Odious comes close though.

How do you know when he is telling an untruth? His lips are moving.
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05 December 2017 13:25 Post ID: #612391 - in reply to #612390
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good one, never thought of that, If out late at night a definite one for an S&S
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05 December 2017 17:01 Post ID: #612397 - in reply to #612343
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Apparently Merlin has a 'knock' and is/maybe doubtful for the Manchester derby.

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