MAN CITY v Leeds – The PREVIEW: City’s Probable Team

16 Feb

Costel Pantilimon looks set to replace Joe Hart in goal although that is no reflection on the England man’s blooper in the league last weekend, rather it reflects Roberto Mancini’s desire to give our second-choice ‘keeper some game time. Vincent Kompany is doubtful for this fixture as the manager feels it’s not worth taking a risk on the captain’s ongoing calf injury, so that means, bearing in mind the Mancini’s reticence to partner Joleon Lescott and Matija Nastasic, Kolo Touré is likely to be recalled along the now fit-again Serb. Maicon offers an option to switch to 3-5-2 that would provide some much-needed width but I’d expect him to remain on the bench.

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After his disastrous performance against Southampton, Gareth Barry was likely to sit out this encounter but it has been revealed he is carrying a slight knock anyway and trained on his own on Thursday. Javi Garcia could be named alongside Yaya Touré in midfield, but I’d prefer to see Jack Rodwell given a game. James Milner is expected to replace the frequently ineffective Samir Nasri, with Carlos Tévez and Edin Dzeko battling it out for a place up front.

Here is the side Mancini could select:

Referee: Mark ClattenburgHas officiated City twice this season, away to Stoke when we drew 1-1 and he missed Andy Wilkinson’s elbow on Mario Balotelli plus Peter Crouch’s blatant handball for the Potters’ goal, and when we were victorious at West Brom, a match in which Clattenburg correctly sent off James Milner.

Prediction: MAN CITY 3 – 1 LeedsThere should hopefully be a strong reaction after the embarrassing loss to Southampton and although the visitors will be eager, our quality should shine through. Goals to be scored by Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tévez, David Silva and El Hadji-Diouf.

William Hill have some excellent odds for this match: Sergio Aguero to score first and City to win 3-1 stands out at 31/1, whilst Javi Garcia to score the first goal is 15/1. Bet here now!

8 Responses to “MAN CITY v Leeds – The PREVIEW: City’s Probable Team”

  1. Alphie-Izzett 16/02/2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I’m struggling to see why you have Hart in the team selection when you (probably correctly) say in your piece that you expect CP to replace him?

    Other than that I agree with your view of the probably team selection and also agree on the preference for starting Rodwell instead of Garcia. Now that he’s fully fit I’d like to see how he does and get something of a comparison of what he brings to the team versus what we have seen of Garcia to date.

    Milner for Nasri must surely happen, anything else would be unjust and although Nastasic is a much more accomplished footballer than Lescott, the latter might be preferred for having a bit more physicality for the sort of football Lidz are likely to bring to the Etihad.

    I shall miss this one, it’s one 6 am start, 16 hour round trip that I’m not up for! I’ll settle for the TV for this one!

    • View From A Blue 16/02/2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Team graphic now corrected, thanks Alphie! It was out of habit that I put Hart in, lack of concentration on my behalf!

      • Alphie-Izzett 16/02/2013 at 10:59 pm #


  2. Martin 16/02/2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Just to update thoughtful Blues on Edin Dzeko’s premier league season so far by means of a comparison with Robin van Persie:

    * Edin has a lower minutes per goal (99 versus 111)
    * Edin has a higher clear-cut chance conversion ratio (59% versus 38%)
    * Edin has a lower minutes per being caught offside (238 versus 62)
    * Edin has a lower minutes per chance created from open play (57 versus 77)

    These facts will perhaps come as no great surprise to attentive Blues: in each of the above 4 performance indicators, Edin was better than RVP last season (when the latter deservedly won the Golden Boot).

    • Martin 17/02/2013 at 11:09 am #

      My apologies. It should read:

      “Edin has a (much) higher minutes per being caught offside (238 versus 68)”

  3. Siamack 16/02/2013 at 11:16 pm #

    As much as I love Yaya, I truly hate to see Yaya and Garcia paired as DM, that is the worst DM combination that you can come up with. But, knowing Bobby’s obsession, I am certain he would pick the above DM combination. I prefer the following line-up
    Zabaleta—- K. Toure —- Nastasic —– Clichy

    • Alphie-Izzett 17/02/2013 at 10:23 am #

      Interesting, why do you think that Yaya and Garcia are the worse DMF combination he could choose? That seems a damning indictment of both players?

      I prefer to see Yaya playing further forward but in truth, his best play from this part of the park has been later in the second half of games and mostly last season. It has worked when when some of the sharpness has gone from the opposition defenders legs and on a good few occasions it has been after Mancini has brought on a second DMF (last season DJ) in exchange for a forward, and has then pushed Yaya upfield.

      If you start with Yaya upfield on his current form and have two DMF, in effect you have 3 DMF for the first half against any side that gets into our faces. To accomodate this you have Carlos (at least nominally) out on the right. If he does what he does best he comes inside and we have no width other than that provided by the FB’s.

      It a problem. At present Yaya on a good day is perhaps 80% of his 2011/12 season best. Both Garcia nor Rodwell have failed to show that they can do the job that DJ did but then DJ was peripheral by the time he left. Scaroace wants a footballing DMF in the DeRossi mold and whilst Garcia probably has the footballing bit, he doesn’t have the pace or the bite. Rodwell can play a bit too, but is probably better in the Barry role.

      One thing about partnering Milner with Rodwell is that we would get to see whether Milner has the all round vision and ability to complement his other excellent attributes and make a success of the box to box MF role and whether together the pair of them have something to offer that is compelling.

      This is what International Business News thinks will be the team:

      Probable Line Up:Hart; Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Silva, Rodwell, Y.Toure, Milner; Dzeko, Tevez

      I think VfaB has better sources :-)

  4. Siamack 17/02/2013 at 2:57 pm #

    As you have rightfullymentioned an ideal DMF would be a person like DeRossi or my preference Rameries in Chelsea who are incredibly mobile, put up a fight for every ball and once the opponent loses the ball behind 18 yards in a matter of seconds can cover the field from end to end to create goal-scoring opportunities on counter attacks.

    Unfortunately, Yaya is abysmal in tracking his players and looks very sluggish in fighting for ball. Garcia is simply to slow. This would leave a gap in our midfield, expose our backline and leave our Merlin unprotected to be pushed off the ball left and right. Basically this would make our midfield incapacitated [as was very evident in our last two games]. Having Rodwell and Milner ,at least on paper, should inject mobility and ball fighting there.

    As for Tevez, it is not the case the we have any width and he would take it away. One thing City does not have is width. Tevez , like Milner, has a high work-rate, fights for balls and has great foot-work. And with Yaya in advanced role, our midfield gets the needed steel and that should open up enough space for our little Silva and Augero to do their job.

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