Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday January 18 2010
The City of Manchester Stadium
Tuesday 19th January 2010
MCFC go into our first cup semi-final in 29 years in better shape than at any time during those three long decades hungry for success and the rags stand in our way...
"City can become a big team in the next year. It is most important that we get into the top four.
That would change the situations. Surely it would be better if City were also a big club in the future because then Manchester could have two clubs in the Champions League."
VMC City Video Link: Boss Excited By Derby Prospects
"You have to recognise they are a competitor now. We have had to wait a long time for it to be like that but they are obviously making a much better fist of their league programme this year than they have done in the past. You could not compare it to Rangers and Celtic but having rivals in the same city does create far more emotion."
'What happened at Old Trafford earlier this season is still in our heads and this is the moment for revenge.'
'We're as excited as the fans. One thing they can do for us is make the place a blue hell on Tuesday night. If they do that, we'll take care of the rest.'
'It doesn't get any bigger than United in the cup. I have played in quite a few derby matches now but you never quite get used to the atmosphere and the intensity and Tuesday's game will probably go up another notch in that respect. Our fans can make a big difference just like they did when we did the double over United...and there will be three times as many of them packed into Old Trafford for the second leg as is the norm for a Premier League contest.'
City's Football Can Do The Talking:
Academy graduates Nedum Onuoha and Shaun Wright-Phillips are pushing for a start alongside another former trainee Stephen Ireland who will face a late fitness test on his hamstring injury. Rigsby Petrov could be dropped in Ireland's place.
Surprise, surprise, Crocky Santa Cruz is out for a month again so Mancio is likely to start with rag nemesis Benjani in a bid to get the ball held up like it wasn't at Everton.
Adebayor (compassionate leave), Toure (international duty), Bridge, Johnson, Vieira, Santa Cruz and Lescott (all knacked).
Who else?! Derided as 'a dog chasing a stick' by United We Stand when they realised The Glazers couldn't afford his dynamic services, the on fire striker has scored 15 goals in 22 starts for City. He made things happen at the swamp and his drive and commitment are sure to go up a gear for this revenge fuelled encounter.
By many accounts Count Dracula Dimitar Berbaflop is heading for the surgeon's knife and it's a question of when rather than if.
Tiny Tim Owen might put in a post seasonal appearance up front if the sloth-like Bulgarian is out.
Edwin Wanders Far is back in nets for the rags and like Scholes and Giggs is an Old Trafford Stager heading for retirement with little talent being generated from within the club to replace him.
Berbatov, Foster, Macheda and Vidic.
Ferdinand, Hargreaves and O'Shea (all injured).
One of the few rags who this season regularly puts in a shift, the jet heeled left back is highly rated and controversially, I'd even consider making a bid for the player next summer who so notably caved in spectacularly in his first Manchester Derby.
Dangerous on the overlap and strong in the tackle.
City's last major semi-final was in the 1981 FA Cup campaign against Ipswich.
In 1976 City stuffed the rags 4-0 on the way to the League Cup final. The Citizens also beat them 4-3 on aggregate in the 1970 semi-final.
The rags have only beaten City once in the League Cup in 1974.
The rags have won 4 of their last 8 fixtures.
You can follow the game live in our popular Live Match Thread in the VMC Match Day Forum:
MATCHDAY THREAD: Man City v Dirty Rags - Carling Cup Semi-Final - Tue Jan 19th - KO. 19:45 UK Time
M L Dean, Wirral We need Mr Dean to be strong for this game. He must not cave in to Taggart's increasingly desperate intimidation. He's reffed City at Blackburn, Villa and Brum this season and seen City come away from those games with 5 unbeaten points. However, he recently awarded the rags two penalties at Portsmouth. Keeps the red cards pocketed. Current Season Record: Games:22, Yellow Cards:84, Red Cards:3
And now you're gonna believe us? Despite the no show at Everton, we couldn't ask for City to be in better shape going into this crucial fixture in the context of our club's resurgence. Everything is in place for take off. Critically, City must beat the rags any which way we can on Tuesday before proceeding to The Swamp for a second leg where we can all but rule out any sort of refereeing assistance. Above all else, we must NOT concede a goal. Taggart is cornered right now in spite of a routine win against Burnley and astonishingly has fickle fans calling for him to 'stand down.' Historically, he is very often never more dangerous and you can expect him to angrily demand a cup response from his squad despite it's steadily opening cracks and weaknesses. But City are threatening to scale higher heights and I am banking on the memory of September's 97th minute defeat firing the Blues into every challenge. Eastlands Expects. Johnny On The Spot?: CITY 3 united 0
A: Scunthorpe, FAC4, Sun 24 Jan 16h00 GMT
A: the rags, LCSF2, Wed 27 Jan 20h00 GMT
H: Portsmouth, Sun 31 Jan 13h30 GMT
Date:Monday January 18 2010
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