MAN CITY v Reading – PREVIEW: 90 Minutes From Wembley

12 Mar

Quite a lot can happen in 90 minutes. The world record holder could run over twenty miles, Usain Bolt could run 562 lots of 100 metres and Man City could reach Wembley. Not that I want to tempt fate of course, but Wembley Way is in our grasp. Just one match of football against Reading stands in our way. Surely we can’t mess up now? Or can we…

We are Manchester City. The perennial underachievers. If there was a cup for cock-ups, we would win it every time. But that image, the laughing stock of English football, is one that we need to change. Big money spending and improved league form will go some way to altering the image, but the one thing we really desire is a trophy. And with us only 90 minutes from Wembley, and then a further 90 from the final, can we dare to dream?

Reading, however, are no mugs. Not least with Matt Mills in defence. Remember him? He’s the guy Stuart Pearce signed from Southampton instead of buying Theo Walcott. Mills made his debut in a 4-0 loss to Wigan and that was about as good as it got for him at City. But he’s impressed this season in the Championship and scored the winning goal against Everton in the last round to confirm Reading’s progress here. And with Matt Lucas look-a-like Brian McDermott in charge, they have been in sparkling form in the league. After a shaky start, they now lie just outside the play-off places, and having also beating West Brom in an earlier round of the FA Cup, they are a side not to be taken lightly.

I’d expect Roberto Mancini to make a number of changes from the side which so disappointingly went down away to Dynamo Kyiv. Nigel de Jong should start, as should Carlos Tévez, whilst James Milner and SWP are both pushing for places, depending on fitness. Mario Balotelli, who suffered an allergic reaction to grass against Kyiv, which on reflection was more serious than any of us could have imagined, trained yesterday and could be on the bench.

Here is the side Mancini could possibly select:

Manchester City 4-2-3-1 football formation

Referee: Lee Probert – He took charge of our league match away to West Brom, where he controversially sent off Mario Balotelli. That display by Probert was one of the worst refereeing performances I’ve ever seen, as he lost control of the match very early on. But he’s regarded highly so let’s hope for a solid showing.

Prediction: MAN CITY 2 – 1 Reading – A fraught game, nerves to paralyse the crowd, and fatigue to punish the players. But with Wembley in sight, I’d hope City can find that extra something and I’d expect our extra quality to shine through. Goals to be scored by Carlos Tévez, Edin Džeko and Shane Long.

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8 Responses to “MAN CITY v Reading – PREVIEW: 90 Minutes From Wembley”

  1. Ricky 12/03/2011 at 7:33 pm #

    I have to say, change Kolarov at Leftback, Boateng in the middle and Zaba on the right, and that would be my first choice team full stop.

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 13/03/2011 at 12:03 pm #

      WOW? Are you mad Ricky? That was an AK comment! Richards has to be in our best defence, he’s been immense recently?

      • Ricky 13/03/2011 at 2:01 pm #

        You know I don’t care for Richards. Richards is picking up far too many niggles at the moment and, what we may lose in attacking potential with Richards, we will gain a bit of longevity and, in my opinion, a better defender in Zabaleta.

  2. Neil Blinston 12/03/2011 at 10:02 pm #

    I may be jumping the gun but should we win and be paired with Bolton in the semi’s then what a shame it would be that the greedy F.A will make the fans trudge down to North London, tailor made for the swamp wouldn’t you say, also, the prize of reaching Wembley should be reserved for those who reach the Final !!

    • Ricky 12/03/2011 at 10:07 pm #

      To be honest, the only “worthwile” that could come out of City winning tomorrow is West Ham beating Stoke. Otherwise; Stoke, MCFC, MUFC and BWFC does seem a bit silly.
      However, the FA have to pay for the expensive red and white elephant near Watford and the obvious remedy is to hold more football games on a bad pitch that can’t handle them.

  3. Citysince77 13/03/2011 at 10:02 am #

    We need a comfortable win today to get rid of the demons of our tough trip to Kyiv, and set up our first visit to Wembley via the FA cup in thirty years. To do this we will all need to be up for the job, the players, the management and just as importantly us fans. Let’s really get behind them for these next two games as we could be in a fantastic position to win two cups after all this.
    2-0 to City and Wembley here we go!

  4. ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 13/03/2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I am not saure this will be as comfortable as some people think. I expect a 2-0 win, but a tight win to be honest. I am almost 100% certain that Milner will not start and that is the only qualm I have with your starting XI. I think that unfortunately he will stick with Yaya.. I feel that is our best defence though and I hope my boy can do me proud on the left wing. Also would quite like to see Guidetti given 10 or so minutes if we are 2-0 up – there is no poitn having Balotelli on the bench, he’s no game changer

  5. Tony B 13/03/2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Referee was dreadful!

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