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

13 May

Here we go.  The time arrived has arrived for the talking to stop and the action to commence. The chance to win a trophy for the first time since 1976 beckons. The opportunity for the players to go down in history awaits.

We have waited so long for this moment, the chance to see our Blues heroes lift a trophy. The semi-final, against Manchester United, was a monumental victory; the win over Spurs to secure a top four position equally as important. But to lift the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon would mark a milestone achievement. It is 35 years since City supporters last saw such a moment and the feelings of excitement, tension, anxiety and hope are tangible.

Having overcome a rather large obstacle in our local rivals in the previous round, we should head into the game with confidence. The victory over Spurs, although nervy at times, will have given the squad the belief that they can do this. Our opponents however, as has been said by many a City fan this week, should not be underestimated.

Managed by Tony Pulis, who will surely be looking for revenge after his Gillingham side were the victims of our 1999 Wembley triumph, they are an impressive unit. Combative when needed, physical but with an attacking streak, they have caused us problems in the past and we should treat them with respect.

We all know the threat posed by Rory Delap’s long throws, the strength of Kenwyne Jones and the no-nonsense defending of the Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth. But whilst their physical nature still remains, in Jermaine Pennant and Matty Etherington, along with former City academy graduate Glenn Whelan, they have added quality to their side.

With regards to our own team selection, much depends on the fitness of Carlos Tévez. If Roberto Mancini deems the striker OK to start, then it will be a huge boost for the Blues. We have shown we can win without him, but there can be no doubt that a player of his undoubted quality inspires those around him. If Tévez starts, then expect Mario Balotelli and David Silva to support him, with Yaya Touré, whose surging runs are made more effective by the size of the pitch at Wembley, proving a key figure just behind.

Here is the side Mancini could select:

Manchester City 4-2-3-1 football formation

All over the pitch, there are a number of key battles. If Etherington is deemed fit, then Micah Richards will have to be at his best to negate the threat of crosses coming into the box. Jon Walters and Kenwyne Jones versus Kompany and Lescott will be a bruising battle, whilst David Silva must find space and time on the ball to create havoc.

Referee: Martin Atkinson – Still remembered by City fans for adding on seven minutes at Old Trafford in that infamous 4-3 game, but regarded highly. Will have to keep a lid on things at all times, as this has the potential to become fiery.

Prediction: MAN CITY 1 1 Stoke – It will be a close run match, a game probably characterised by attrition rather than aesthetically pleasing football. A draw at full time, and then who knows what will happen. Goals to be scored by Carlos Tévez and Kenwyne Jones.

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10 Responses to “MAN CITY v Stoke – PREVIEW: City’s Probable Team”

  1. Bring Bellamy back 13/05/2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Like the line up , but i would not mind seeing Milner come on for Toure at in the second half if the ivorian is having an off day.

  2. Rob 13/05/2011 at 5:50 pm #

    I Hope Stoke beats the Arab banked losers all over the pitch.

    Never thought I would say this, but Go Stoke!!!!

    • DrJubal 13/05/2011 at 6:22 pm #

      Wow that was racist as well as boorish. Nice job.

      Enjoy your final on the 28th. Go Barça!

    • ash 13/05/2011 at 7:28 pm #

      how can you say it all abt money when its clearly not yeh we have splash millions on players but don’t all clubs look at man u and Chelsea if they didn’t they wouldn’t be where they are today so leave it be yeh and let us city fans enjoy are club winning cups and getting into champions league c’mon city let mess stoke all over that pitch.

  3. Siamack 13/05/2011 at 6:51 pm #

    City have technically achieved their objectives set at the beginning of season: Championship league and a Final in FA or Europa league, anything more is the icing on the cake!

  4. Johnno 13/05/2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Just want to wish all the Stokie’s all the best. Proper final with 2 sets of proper fans, and about time too.

    Win or lose (for both of us) this could be the last FA Cup Final that means anything. To the sad glory hunting corporate scum that’s invaded football over the last 10+ years, go away, we don’t want you.

    Proper day out, proper cup final.

    Good luck lads and enjoy it.

  5. Citysince77 14/05/2011 at 6:54 am #

    Stoke are good at what they do but the league shows we are better at football. If we can get ball moving quickly on that big pitch we can run them ragged. Just put the ball in the onion bag Carlos and the rest they say is history. A win for Manchester City by two clear goals.

  6. Red-head 14/05/2011 at 3:20 pm #

    what a pile of crap this final is

    • DAVID SILVA IS MY GOD 15/05/2011 at 12:44 pm #

      Assuming you are a united fan?

      So, if united were in the final yesterday, it wouldn’t be crap. United are in the European Cup final (on merit I will admit) but if they weren’t, then that would be a crap final.

      The FA Cup has been pushed into the corner by many. It shouldn’t!! The FA Cup should be the last game of the footballing calender and its place on the calender shouldn’t be decided by UEFA

      • DAVID SILVA IS MY GOD 15/05/2011 at 12:45 pm #

        and as for having games on the SAME DAY as the cup final…. Ridiculous!!

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