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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Manchester City vs. Arsenal

City of Manchester Stadium

26/08/06

1715

On Sky

Arsenal Preview

After a predictable poor start to the season Manchester City find themselves faced with Arsenal as they attempt to score a first goal of the season. After the poor 0-0 draw against Portsmouth in midweek it is perhaps just the eternal optimist that can see this fixture kick starting the season.

Arsenal are, quite simply, City's bogey team. We have amassed just one point against them in eighteen previous Premiership attempts and even that came at Highbury rather than in Manchester. The days of the regular 5-0 defeats may have ended but odd goal defeats remain commonplace.

City will be rightly without the suspended Thatcher. Also missing will be Isaksson, who has adapted to typical City immediately by having an operation before even playing for the club, and Cole who remains a few weeks from fitness. Trabelsi is still not deemed fit enough (what a club) although Hamman may get the nod if he passes a late fitness test. Corradi should return to the side, after missing the midweek game through suspension, and should start given the ineffectual efforts of the forwards on Wednesday.

All in all a tough fixture in what has been a tough opening week.

Vital Quotes:

Stuart Pearce shows he is of the glass half full school of management:


'People are bolting on what happened in the bad run at the end of last season but from my point of view it is not all doom and gloom. So far this season we have lost to the champions away and then kept a clean sheet at home against a side we failed to break down. Let's build from there.'

Manchester City Team News:

Thatcher, Isaksson and Cole miss out. Hamman takes a late fitness test. Corradi should start after suspension with Dickov probably returning to the bench. I would like to see Vassell out wide on the left (as we have no other options) and Reyna being replaced by Dabo. But what do I know .... Psycho says we have something to build on?

Player to watch: Corradi

If he stays on the pitch could be something of a nuisance, well certainly more so than Wednesday's trio.

Arsenal Team News:

Henry and Lehmann return. Ljunberg misses out with injury.

Player to watch: Henry

Not only for the skill levels but also the moaning, diving, bleating and gallic shrug of innocence.

Match Facts & Stats

Is the fact that we don't beat Arsenal really worth repeating? For the record, 1991 was the last occassion we beat Arsenal, a David White goal settling things.

Ref Watch:

Uriah Rennie ..... Enough said.

Match Prediction:

A draw would probably be reason for celebration, a defeat more likely.

Next Fixtures:




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The journalist

Writer: Andy Leggott Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 25 2006

Time: 8:06PM

Your Comments

I can't understand how Rennie is allowed anywhere near a Premiership match
bluetone
I can't understand how you can label Henry a diver. He has had one momentary lapse, and that wasn't even for Arsenal.
Rocky7
Dis you not watch the CL final?!
Clancy
In spport of Henry
Clancy
rocky ..... once makes a diver .... Henry is indeed class but he showed his true colours for La France ..... also agree with Andy regards the gallic shrug ... he gets away with so many indescretions that way .....
ronin
Clancy ..... Henry's rant after the CL final was hypocritical to say the least with hindsight ..... He now has serious form after the WC ..... CL final was a tale of controversial goals for both sides
ronin
again to rocky ..... check the iffy penalty v City at Highbury last season ..... that makes 2 and one for the Arse
ronin
I usually like a small club like Man City, but the way that you talk about one of the world' s great players in Henry just sinks of the jealousy of our striker, normally shown by your city rivals.....
Mikec
However, I greatley admire you City fans for being able to live in the same city as United fans!Much respect lads!Hope for a good game tomorrow
Mikec
Nobody got a better ovation than that given to Henry by the City fans last season, we do appreciate a world class player when we see one.
alphieblues
I definately respect that but i dont believe that it is in Henry's character to cheat.He is not a cheater.However you show the man what remains good about this league.The appreciation of a great player.
Mikec
 

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