Got Swerved By Steve Bruce
So it’s Master vs Apprentice round three. It currently stands at 1-1 with a quarter final in the Caraboa Cup to follow before the end of 2020.
Both teams come into this off contrasting runs of form, although we lost to Liverpool we’ve won all our other games in the league as well as exacting revenge in the Caraboa Cup.
City meanwhile recently conceded 5 at home to Leicester and drew away at Leeds. They’ve been hit hard by injuries and Covid and for once haven’t gone mad in the transfer market.
Although they’ve spent big on Ruben Dias -who should feature against us - Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake, their last few match day squads have looked light.
Both Aguero and Jesus should miss out against us which means Sterling notwithstanding his severe case of International Breakitis will start up front for them.
With Cancelo, Gundogan and Garcia all doubts as well there’s probably not going to be a better time to play City this year.
For us it’s very hard to predict how Arteta will line up. With Thomas Partey finally joining us the question is whether Arteta feels comfortable enough switching to a back 4 for one of the toughest games in the PL when we won’t have much of the ball.
I think he’ll go with a back 5 one last time and look to set up more aggressively in the EL and against Leicester.
This is my predicted line up:
Hard to predict the middle of the park but it seems Arteta has looked for more defensive balance recently by partnering Elneny rather than Xhaka with Ceballos to let Dani support the strikers so that may well continue with Thomas.
Wouldn’t be surprised to see any combo in that midfield involving the four though. AMN hasn’t offered as much as Saka for me recently so that could be another one to keep an eye on.
Also Pepe after his game changing substitute appearance against Sheffield Utd deserves a start and Nketiah has struggled a bit in recent weeks.
Maybe time to move Aubameyang up front and let Pepe push on along side him from the right.