Date:Thursday August 26 2010
Thursday, 26th August
Only two days after our battering of Liverpool, it's back to business again for Mancini`s men with the task of building on our 1 goal lead against a limited team from Western Romania which goes by the name of FC Timişoara.
'Let's not forget that the investment made City; the players acquired this summer for 200 million Euros. However, we played great against them in the first round, especially in the first half. I have come here to play football.'
Costel Pantilimon (goalkeeper):
"It is one of the most important matches of my career so far."
"We won the first game but we must pay attention, this will be a difficult game and it is likely I will make 3 or 4 changes because it is impossible to play with the same players every three days. But we must pay attention because I think this will be a difficult game."
Due to a number of factors, this game should see the first screening of Roberto Mancini`s rotation policy. As he mentioned, one player cannot play three games in eight days and still be fresh come the more important Premier League fixtures. Luckily, we have a one goal advantage meaning Mancini can give some of the fringe players a chance to impress, whilst leaving the big guns on the bench in case of an implosion on the pitch.
James Milner was not registered in time to feature for the Blues in the Europa League after his move from Aston Villa. Mario Balotelli is out with a knee injury but could take his place on the City bench for the Sunderland game. The trio of full-backs; Boateng, Bridge and Kolarov are all out whilst Michael Johnson is continuing on the road to recovery after the second serious injury of his career. Daniel Taylor tweeted yesterday that he expects the team to be the following after watching Mancini opt for this team in training yesterday:
Possible City Team:
2) Richards - 38) Boyata - 4) Kompany - 5) Zabaleta
8) Wright-Phillips - 24) Vieira - 34) de Jong - 21) Silva
9) Adebayor - 27) Jô
So, it appears that the 'forgotten man` is to make a Lazarus style comeback after Mancini`s vote of confidence earlier today. When the Brazilian signed, so much was expected from him after his big-money move. And the early signs were good as he lead the line in our 6-0 hammering of Portsmouth, contributing a goal. However, things quickly tailed off after that and he was loaned out to Everton where he seemed to have revived his career after netting 5 goals for Gollum`s side before typically drifting out of games and breaking club rules. Therefore, it is strange to see that Jô has decided to knuckle down and after emerging as top scorer from our poor pre-season campaign. After all that, Jô is expected to take has place alongside Emmanuel Adebayor tonight in attack with a point to prove.
Vladimir Petrovic`s side will come into the game full of confidence and with no fear of defeat. Timisoara were hesitant and hardly threatening in Romania but I expect them to play with more freedom tonight as they really have nothing to lose. The main threat comes from the pairing of Mircea Axente and Luká Magera in attack who may prove to be a menace.
Possible Timisoara Team:
Luchin - Sepsi - Scutaru - Mera
Cisovsky - Alexa - Curtean - Bourceanu
Axente - Magera
Vincent Kompany will certainly have his hands full with this lad. The 23 year old, Romanian who stands at 6 foot 1 is not afraid of an aerial contest and will be keen to get in-behind the City defence to try and nod home from crosses.
There are no statistics available.
I expect City to build upon their one goal advantage. The fringe players are expected to be given a chance to show their worth and this game represents the perfect chance for two players in particular to find their feet; Emmanuel Adebayor and David Silva. Adebayor looks desperately short of a goal and infront of a half-full crowd against a weak defence the Togolese must see this as a great chance to stamp his name on the scoresheet and get a good performance under his belt. David Silva is another player who will be looking to use this opportunity against some continental opposition to try a few tricks and impress Mancini with his passing ability. I predict a three nil victory with goals from Silva, Jô and Adebayor. Prediction: MCFC 3 - 0 FC Timişoara.
Sunday, 29th August v Sunderland @ 15:00 (A)
Saturday, 11th September v Blackburn @ 15:00 (H)
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Date:Thursday August 26 2010
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