Wigan v MAN CITY: THE PREVIEW – Key Battles… Johnson v Figueroa

17 Sep

Having travelled to Austria during the week to face, and comfortably defeat, Red Bull Salzburg, Man City are on the road again just three days later; this time however, it’s a rather shorter distance, as they travel across Manchester to face Wigan Athletic. The DW Stadium, formerly known as the JJB Stadium but now named after their eccentric owner Dave Whelan, doesn’t held many happy memories for City fans in recent years, with Wigan proving a notoriously difficult side for the Blues to defeat. It needs only, however, to reminisce slightly further back into the past to recall how City faced Wigan in the play-offs in the 1999 season, defeating them over two legs before conquering Gillingham in that now infamous final.

In the Premier League, City’s form has been ever so slightly disappointing, having drawn two matches and won just the solitary game, albeit with a sensational performances against Liverpool. A couple of individual errors have cost the Blues dearly, so they will be looking to eradicate these moments of foolishness, starting in this fixture. The home side have also failed to produce the kind of football they are capable of, although they did beat Tottenham Hotspur, showing just how mercurial they can be. In Roberto Martinez, they possess one of the brightest young managers in the game, so on an individual level, he will be hoping to ‘get one over’ on our Roberto.

My good friend Roberto Mancini is likely to make a number of changes from the side which won so easily in midweek. The likes of Joleon Lescott, Mario Balotelli and Aleksandar Kolarov are still sidelined with injuries, but Jerome Boateng is pushing to make his first competitive start for the Blues. Adam Johnson and James Milner, both rested in the Europa League, are likely to return whilst Micah Richards faces a battle with no-nonsense Argentinean defender Pablo Zabaleta for the right-back role. Goalscoring duo David Silva and Jo both face returns to the bench, although the Spaniard is pushing for an extended run in the side.

This is the team I would like to play, although no doubt Mancini will view the matter differently. (4-3-3)

                                                                              Hart

Zabaleta/Boateng                K. Touré                         Kompany                     Bridge

                                 Y. Touré                         de Jong                            Barry

A. Johnson                                                                                                                Milner

                                                                             Tévez

Subs: Given, Richards, Zabaleta/Boyata, Vieira, SWP, Silva, Jo 

KEY BATTLES

Maynor Figueroa v Adam Johnson

City’s promising winger had now firmly established himself as one of the brightest prospects in the English game on account of his dazzling performances for both club and country. He will hope to replicate his recent good form here, but he will be up against a physical defender in the Honduran. Figueroa was heavily linked with Liverpool in the transfer window, and apart from his solid defending, he is capable of scoring a sensational goal or two, as viewers of his strike against Stoke last season will testify.

Hendry Thomas v Yaya Touré

I’d expect this to be a physical contest to say the least! Both are built like heavyweight boxers, but it’s indubitable that Touré possesses that extra finesse and quality. Thomas, another Honduran in the Wigan squad, will sit just in front of the defence, using his ability to read the game to try to intercept any City attacks. Touré will attempt to nullify this threat and at the same time, hope to contribute for the Blues as well. The Ivorian has been underwhelming so far this season, never really hitting the heights we saw of him at Barcelona and needs a good performance to silence those whispers of discontent.

Hugo Rodallega v Joe Hart

Rodallega, yet another of Wigan’s South American contingent, is a mercurial customer, capable of producing a matchwinning performance one week, before turning in an abject display the next. But Hart will have to be on his guard, as the Colombian possesses a fierce shot. The England goalkeeper has had a sensational start to this campaign, cementing his place for both club and country and his copybook is only blotted by his error against Blackburn.

PREDICTION: Wigan 1 – 2 MAN CITY – This will be a tough, hard-fought battle, but with our newfound winning mentality, I’d expect City to return to Eastlands witht the three points. Goals to be scored by Hugo Rodallega, Carlos Tévez and Adam Johnson.

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3 Responses to “Wigan v MAN CITY: THE PREVIEW – Key Battles… Johnson v Figueroa”

  1. Ricky 18/09/2010 at 9:04 am #

    We have never performed at the JJB/DW and i fear that this will continue. Despite the midweek win I just can’t see us winning with consistency while Jo is anywhere near the pitch – his presence strikes fear into fans and players alike.
    A dismal 2-2 draw

  2. CHED EVANS IS MY HERO!! 18/09/2010 at 11:28 am #

    Disagree with your team completely! He will never play that away from home, are you mad! If we play 4-5-1 at home, we will never play the team above away from home! Funny feeling SWP will play and Jo after his goal maybe if Ade isnt fit?

    Not sure on my prediction so far so will leave it for now 🙂 Off to Sheff in 2 hours, wish me luck x

    • Plattsy 19/09/2010 at 12:18 pm #

      As I have nothing to do today, I have analysed this article in more depth than normal.
      1st para – ‘held’ should be ‘hold’
      I’m not sure if I fundamentally agree with the positioning of the second ‘however’ in this paragraph. You seem to be comprehensively against beginning a sentence with ‘however’, and given your elaborate writing style I can accept that. However (no pun intended), in my view the sentence starting ‘It needs only, however…’ stutters on this word, and would flow better with the however at the beginning. Although I appreciate that it may be your intention to play with the positioning of words in your sentences, making the reader stop and take in what you have said, rather than skim-reading the article.
      Also why was the cup final infamous? Because of the amount of stoppage time? I’m just checking that you don’t think that the word is a superlative of famous, as indeed I used to do for a long time!

      2nd para – ‘ever so slightly disappointing’ should be changed to ‘dismal’
      Knock off the extra ‘s’ on the end of ‘a sensational performances’
      Also you’ve taught me that the phrase is ‘get one over on someone’, I always thought it was ‘get one over someone’, so thanks! I’ll try and use it today.

      Finally, in the para starting Hendry Thomas Vs, a comma is needed after ‘Touré will attempt to nullify this threat and’ because of the proceeding comma in the sentence. Alternatively, you could put the comma before the ‘and’. You didn’t seriously think I’d write a long comment without reference to a comma did you?

      In general, a nice array of vocabulary is used, ‘underwhelming’ and ‘fierce shot’ are two quotes that I particularly liked – we musn’t forget how even common phrases like these can be so pleasant to read in good context. Bravo.

      I think we might lose today, but I’m hoping we can escape with at least a point… 2-2 for me.

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