Liverpool v MAN CITY – PREVIEW: City’s Probable Team

10 Apr

‘We must focus on one game at a time’ is one of the most often used clichés in football. But it rings true, and none more so than with respect to this fixture. Thoughts of everyone involved at Man City have turned to the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United next weekend. The players have publicly stated they are thinking about it and the fans can’t stop talking about it. But however important that game is, this one is just as, if not more, significant.

We can dream of winning a trophy and of course that is something we all desire greatly. But for me, attaining Champions League qualification is far more important for the future of this club. If we are serious about acquiring truly world class players and making an impact on the European stage, then we need to finish in the top four. And with the sides around us having won this weekend, the pressure is on us to match them, by returning from Anfield with three points.

With regards to team selection, the only notable absentees are still Micah Richards and Jerome Boateng, who had surgery a few days ago on his knee injury and is expected to be out for the season. Pablo Zabaleta is back in contention having missed the past couple of matches due to being in Argentina with his father. However, this match may come too early for him to be thrown straight back in, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dedryck Boyata retain his place in defence.

The most important question is that regarding the formation we play. After opting for an extra attacker in the 5-0 demolition of Sunderland, Mancini will be tempted to keep that formation, at the risk of being overrun in defence. More likely though, is that Gareth Barry will return to the side in place of Adam Johnson, providing us with extra solidity in midfield.

Here is the side Mancini is likely to select:

Manchester City 4-2-3-1 football formation

Liverpool have a few injury concerns themselves. In defence especially, they are short of numbers, with Glen Johnson, Martin Kelly and Daniel Agger all sidelined. Inspirational captain Steven Gerrard is out for the season, so much of their attacking play will depend on the link up between Andy Carroll and Luis Suárez.

Referee: Mark Halsey – Will always be remembered fondly by City fans for being the official at Wembley in 1999 against Gillingham. Only just returned to refereeing having missed virtually all season after being diagnosed with cancer, and seems to have lost that yard of pace and clarity of thought. Refereed City’s FA Cup replay with Leicester.

Prediction: Liverpool 12 MAN CITY – Could be a tight one, but on the back of the thumping victory over Sunderland, I’d back City to run out victors. Goals to be scored by Suárez, Tévez and Silva.

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12 Responses to “Liverpool v MAN CITY – PREVIEW: City’s Probable Team”

  1. Siamack 10/04/2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Boyata’s performance was nothing short of anyone else on the field namely Lescott and Kolarov in the previous game and in most of games he has been involved. He has shown dedication, class, hardword and above all excellent performance whenever he has been called upon. Having him on bench would be unfair from any angle folks try to justify it especially when you have Kolarov on the field. The only difference between him and most players is that he does not come with a high price tag.

    • JoshMCFC 10/04/2011 at 8:08 pm #

      agree wiv u but i dont no if i would play him in the derby if he is solid against Liverpool then id play him but if not then Zab should play think Kolarovs better then Lescott btw lol

      • neale 11/04/2011 at 11:31 pm #

        Mario who? United may want to rent storage from you to store more silverware this year, is that OK?

    • View From A Blue 10/04/2011 at 8:14 pm #

      I’d personally play Boyata at RB with Zabaleta at LB and Kolarov on the bench. But I think Mancini will stick Zaba straight back in.

    • zorrin drax 11/04/2011 at 4:21 pm #

      I like the central defensive Belgian pairing of Kompany and Boyata, they have always been rock-solid. maybe they are secretly father and son.

      Fine pair of shoulders, boy, show ’em off! as windsor Davies used to say to his assumed son in “It ain’t half hot mum”.

      Lescott has been a towering god-like hero of a man in defence under mancini, though. I wonder why he was so shaky under sparky?

      Talking of “shakey”, I read that seismologists in Swansea believe that shaking Stevens is becoming active again.

    • neale 11/04/2011 at 11:26 pm #

      Time for another manager-Giggs will tear you apart!

  2. Citysince77 10/04/2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Positive and injury free game needed tomorrow as the game at Wembley is looming ever closer. On importance I’d say the Liverpool game just shades it, but I feel the results in both matches will shape the way were are judged at the end of the season. Whether the truth is I just want to agree with Mancini, or more so I genuinely believe him but I do think the team is looking a lot more rested now and are playing much better for it. I think we are capable of going to Anfield and pulling off a win and then going to Wembley and knocking United out but I will only believe it when I see it. Come on City!!

    • Siamack 10/04/2011 at 8:26 pm #

      At this moment we have a 3 point lead over Spurs. Tomorrow’s game is a must-win match as the next game of Spurs are against Arsenal which would give us a chance to increase our lead by more than 3. We need to secure 4 spot before Spurs game.

    • neale 11/04/2011 at 11:27 pm #

      You should ask United if you can borrow some silverware for a season and see how it looks. At least you don’t have to dust anything.

  3. Plattsy 11/04/2011 at 9:54 am #

    Interesting… I see your point but I’m afraid I can’t agree with you. Even if we lose 5-0 to liverpool but then beat the scum on saturday, city fans will be overjoyed at the weekend, whereas if we beat liverpool but lose 5-0 to united can you imagine how awful it would be?
    And yes, if we look at the bigger picture then we must get into the champions league next year, but let us not forget that our run-in after the liverpool game is not the hardest – we would fancy ourselves to take three points from most, if not all of the following games.
    Let’s face it, under any circumstances, a derby day is the biggest day of our footballing year (that is, until we get to the champions league final!). Sure, we should go out to win against Liverpool, no argument there, but I can’t agree that it’s more important than saturday.

    • neal 11/04/2011 at 11:24 pm #

      Oh, oh dear, so much money so few guts. At the sharp end City collapse again. Did you owners confuse you with the true Manchester when making a bid? Look across the city and see the Reds, but you will have to look up!

  4. Rich 12/04/2011 at 12:03 am #

    WooW.. So ur prediction was 2/1 for shity !!! I guess it will take the idiots long time to realise that money alone can’t buy u courage, determination and winning mentality.. Roll on Saturday 🙂

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