Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday November 1 2013
The Etihad Stadium
After a fortnight on the road City are back home for a must win clash against a relegation zoned Norwich...
"Tomorrow we will see what happens about Joe Hart. It is a decision I have to take every week with the 22 players in the team. He's a football player and is under the same pressure every week. Even the players don't know who will start tomorrow...Norwich are a very good team. I watched their last two games. If we think we are playing at home, so we will win easily, I think that is a very big mistake."
'The pressure I feel is the same as I feel week in, week out and that is the pressure to win football matches and good performances. Whether we are in the bottom three or five places higher that is always there...You're always looking for plusses and ways in which the team can be motivated. We know our performances haven't been bad, but we haven't had the points to go with our performances. That's the reality...Nobody will deny that Manchester City is a tough ask but you've got to go there and be delighted by the challenge, and you've got to be excited by it too.'
El Kun is on absolute fire and rested for the midweek League Cup win at Newcastle will be eager to add to this season's impressive strike rate of 10 goals in 11 starts with 16 shots on target out of a total 20 in the Premier League. Still only 25 years old, the brilliant Argentine has scored a stunning 42 goals in 72 league appearances. Kun has scored 4 goals in 3 games against Norwich.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
LATE FITNESS TEST:
Beyond all reasonable doubt, much will depend upon the Norwich goalkeeper in Manchester this weekend. Fresh from signing a new contract until 2017, the 27 year old harbours ambition to become established as England's Number One and facing the league's top scorers will need to be on his toes. Norwich may have shipped 13 goals but Ruddy and his defence have registered three clean sheets. That's one more than table toppers Arsenal.
THE NUMBERS GAME:
Norwich join Sunderland and Crystal Palace with the least amount of away goals in the Premier League to date. That's 2 each. Misfiring.
Norwich returned to England's top flight in 2011/2012. In 4 fixtures against The Citizens since, 25 goals have been racked up. That's an average of 6.25 per game. Entertainment.
City have scored in each of the last 54 games at The Etihad. Only 16 home points have been dropped from a possible 49 to date. Fortress.
The Canaries have lost 10 of their last 14 away league games. Travel sick.
HEAD TO HEAD
League: 27 City Wins, 18 Draws, 9 Norwich Wins
League Cup: 4 City Wins, 2 Draws
FA Cup: 2 City Wins, 1 Norwich Win
Total: 33 City Wins, 20 Draws, 10 Norwich Wins
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Su 19May 2013 Man City 2 - 3 Norwich PL
Sa 29Dec 2012 Norwich 3 - 4 Man City PL
Sa 14Apr 2012 Norwich 1 - 6 Man City PL
Sa 03Dec 2011 Man City 5 - 1 Norwich PL
Tu 25Sep 2007 Man City 1 - 0 Norwich CC
Mo 28Feb 2005 Norwich 2 - 3 Man City PL
Mo 01Nov 2004 Man City 1 - 1 Norwich PL
Betting: City 1/5 Draw 13/2 Norwich 17 Racing Post Soccerbase
FORM LAST 6 GAMES ALL COMPETITIONS:
CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR PREDICTIONS AND FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
TV COVERAGE: BBC Match of The Day
mcfcofficial: PELLEGRINI ON HART: City v Norwich
Phil Dowd from Staffordshire -Last Season: Tu 25Sep 2012 Man City 2 - 4 Aston Villa LC, Sa 05Jan 2013 Man City 3 - 0 Watford FAC, Tu 29Jan 2013 QPR 0 - 0 Man City PL, Tu 07May 2013 Man City 1 - 0 West Brom PL This Season: Sa 31Aug 2013 Man City 2 - 0 Hull PL -2012/13: 39 Games, 105 Yellows, 1 Red -2013/14: 9 Games, 36 Yellows, 1 Red.
Johnny On The Spot: This is a football match that Manchester City cannot afford to draw, let alone lose, such is the wide open context of the Premier League title race nine games into the campaign. From this months international break to Christmas City will play 9 games at a rate of every 3 or 4 days. There is no margin anymore for error, particularly in the league and we need to be in as strong a position as possible before that run of fixtures starts. Already 21 goals to the good, The Blues have played some sensational stuff to date and but for some ludicrous defensive mistakes would be leading the chasing pack, not hanging on to it's coat tails. Struggling Norwich represent an opportunity to release a lot of pent up frustration. Factually, this is the first time in five years that The Blues have lost at least three of their opening nine league fixtures. Manuel Pellegrini's team have made five errors leading directly to a goal this season, more than any other side. These are reasons for the team to up it's defensive performance following the rollocking the manager gave them after last weekend's defeat at Stamford Bridge...I cannot see The Canaries getting anything from this game against a City squad who are allegedly intent upon correcting the managerless, nothing to play for 2-3 reverse shipped to Norwich at The Etihad during last season's curtain call. Chris Hughton is under growing pressure and could opt for parking the type of proverbial bus that thwarted Roberto Mancini's City throughout so many of last season's fixtures. The Engineer's men however, carry more options now and a greater ability to stretch sides intent upon damage limitation. If City score early against a side yet to score a goal in the first thirty minutes of a league game this season, I predict a rout. City 4 Norwich 0
all times East Manchester GMT
Tu 05 Nov 19h45 CSKA Moscow, The Etihad CLGS4
Su 10 Nov 1405 Sunderland, Stadium of Light PL
Su 24 Nov 13h30 Spurs, The Etihad PL
We 27 Nov 19h45 Viktoria Plzen, The Etihad CLGS5
Su 01 Dec 16h10 Swansea City, The Etihad PL
We 04 Dec 20h00 West Brom, The Hawthorns PL
Sa 07 Dec 15h00 Southampton, St Mary's Stadium PL
Tu 10 Dec 19h45 Bayern Munich, Allianz Arena CLGS
Sa 14 Dec 15h00 Arsenal, The Etihad PL
Tu/We 17/18 Dec TBC Leicester, Walkers Stadium, LC5
Sa 21 Dec 15h00 Fulham, Craven Cottage PL
Th 26 Dec 15h00 Liverpool, The Etihad PL
Sa 28 Dec 15h00 Crystal Palace, The Etihad PL
We 01 Jan2014 15h00 Swansea City, Liberty Stadium PL
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Date:Friday November 1 2013
The Ped Report West Brom 2-3 City (Thursday December 5 2013)
Stats: West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City (Wednesday December 4 2013)
VIDEO: Pellegrini Hails Kompany Return (Wednesday December 4 2013)
El Kun And The Hunt For Red December (Tuesday December 3 2013)
The Baggies versus The Citizens (Tuesday December 3 2013)
The Ped Report City 3-0 Swansea City (Monday December 2 2013)
Stats: Manchester City v Swansea City (Sunday December 1 2013)
The Citizens versus The Swans (Saturday November 30 2013)
The Ped Report City 4-2 Viktoria Plzen (Thursday November 28 2013)
Stats: Manchester City v Viktoriá Plzeň (Wednesday November 27 2013)
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