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Preview: Manchester City Vs Rovers


b12_simon

MOTM  

93 members have voted

  1. 1. MOTM?

    • Friedel
      0
    • Zura
      2
    • Samba
      0
    • Nelsen
      0
    • Berner
      3
    • Emerton
      0
    • Dunn
      0
    • Reid
      0
    • Pedersen
      2
    • Betnley
      15
    • Sants Cruz
      71
    • McCarthy
      0


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On Boxing Day the night after Boxing Day, Rovers make the short trip to Manchester City.

If there was an award for most improved team in the Premier League some Manchester bookies would have paid out on City already. Since being bought by Scottish indie has-beens the Trashcan Sinatras the club has undergone a huge transformation. They've splashed out tons of money on new players and brought in manager Sven Goran Erikson who doesn't seem half bad.

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New Owners - Trashcan Sinatras

Gone are that sorry lot we brushed aside 3 times last season: one of the worst teams to visit Ewood Park including all 3 relegated sides. Instead Man City are genuine contenders for a top 4 finish.

When they visited Ewood Park in September we played some of the best football I've seen since the days of Shearer and Sutton, passing the ball around beautifully and denying City more than a couple of shots on goal. City have been much stronger at home though and we'll have to play at least as well to have a chance of getting much from this game.

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Celebrity fan Eddie Large

Here are some questions I posed to Man City supporter Teacher Jon:

What has changed under Sven?

Everything. the sky is bluer, we are more ambitious, the prospects are so much brighter. the team sound more confident, we've got rid of that whining sh*t barton, the team are playing better football than i ever thought possible this time last season.

We've a bet on about who will finish higher: City or Rovers. Still confident?

think we could surprise a lot of people this season. especially those who had us in the relegation battle (tony cascarino) think we'll finish above you if january signings are good and key players stay fit.

What were your thoughts on Rovers before the season started?

how long will you keep mark hughes? there must be some much bigger teams eyeing him up for the future.

Who have been your key players so far?

Elano. watching him has been magic this season. not seen anyone so good since Kinky left. just wish he didn't have to travel so far for international matches. Hamann has been great in the centre, johnson is one to watch, and micah has been impressive in patches. just hope it doesn't all go to his head.

Biggest disappointment?

Hoping to see more from bianchi. he has looked great at times

Rovers player you fear most?

McCarthy. pederson.

City player we should fear the most?

Depends on elano's fitness. Petrov?

Your prediction?

2-1 city.

Given how Rovers have got into the festive spirit by playing like puddings I have to agree with Jon: 2-1 to City. We'll have a fighting chance if Pedersen plays like he did late in the Arsenal game, if Dunn can repeat the fantstic job he did ruining Elano's day in September and the back four show any sign of knowing what they're doing.

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This is one game that I am really hoping Rovers pull together for an away win.

City have been brokered into the serious rich clubs having had their debt wiped out almost overnight by the Thaksin revolution but at the same time they still dont have a stadium to call their own. City are hoping to spend some serious money in January if you are to believe their already over hyped fan base as they strive for a top 4 place but might just settle for a top 7 finish.

There is no sign of the bubble being burst yet as SGE's braves march on with a perfect home league record. yes they lost recently to Spuds in the cup so that doesnt really count. Its for Rovers to break the spell and to notch a win that would see us "double" City once again.

I think I am right when I say tht we will be missing both Savage and Warnock (having each reached the 5 yellow card threshold) and bearing in mind we have still got a home game to play versus Chelski we dont kow if we will have wracked up yet another red card !

A tight game, a scrappy game that we can win 2-1.

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Man City will also benefit from this, but good that we get an extra days rest for this one.

I would keep the same system which started the match today. Man City have got a tremendous home record, but I fancy us to do ok in this match. It is another game live on Sky, so chance to show viewers what we are all about (hopefully).

Regarding team selection, would look at replacing Tugay and/or Dunn for this one.

Actually, forgot that we have a couple of suspensions of this one, so who knows what Sparky will do...

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warnock and savage are both suspended though samba returns from his ban.

unless ollson gets a game, i would predict that zurab and emerton would fill in at fullback and samba returns to the centre to partner nelsen.

Nelsen at the very least needs a rest. Massive blow to lose Warnock. For me:

-----------------Santa Cruz

Pedersen------------------------Derbyshire

------------Dunn---------Bentley

-------------------Reid

--Olsson--Samba----Zurab---Emerton

----------------Freidal

I love Nelsen but he has cost us about four or five goals in the last four games. We can't have him in. Hopefully he can sort out whatever has robbed him a yard of pace otherwise we are screwed. Olsson has looked decent when given a chance.

Derbyshire to play well up but out right with Bentley covering the flank as needs be.

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Don't see us picking up anything here. Given our charitable performances against bottom 3 teams I don't see us picking up anything fir the next three games actually. We can be thankful for our good start or we'd be in deep ######.

I see, lot's of posession for us no real goal threats and two goals for City with an AWOL defence.

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Just been checking the train times and found there is to be a replacement bus service from Boton to Manchester. Bear this in mind and allow more time if you still intend to use the train.

I now intend to drive :angry2:

This is going to be a right pain in the arse! I've already asked at Chorley how many buses there will be and they said 1 or 2 per hour from Bolton to Manchester.

But I would suggest getting home is going to be the biggest problem....

The only journey back to Blackburn is the 22:25 from Victoria (which unless you are a sprinter, you're probably not going to make!)

If you wanna go home via Chorley, that journey is even worse:

MANCHESTER PICCADILLY 22:35 Train NORTHERN RAIL

HINDLEY 23:01 23:15 Train NORTHERN RAIL

BOLTON 23:27 23:32 Train TRANSPENNINE EXPRESS

CHORLEY 23:51

So I wouldn't even bother with trains really!!

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Got a feeling we may see this back four:

Zura Samba Nelsen Emerton (lB)

The only other change I would consider, is Derbs for Tugay and going 4-4-2. However, Hughes talked so highly post-match about Bents display in his free role, so I think he will stay in it.

I wonder if Derbs was just completely dropped from the squad on Sunday - seems a bit odd that he started mid-week, then does not even make the bench. Especially with our grumpy lads sitting it out on the bench.

I know Tugay got a lot of stick, but this is the sort of game where he will get space, and I still think he can play an effective role even when he is not in top form.

Also, what I found quite interesting was Hughes comments on Zurab. Saying how professional he has been when out of the squad, saying how hard he has been working and not making a song and dance about it (being out of the team). He went onto say that his first class attitude was probably why he played so well when called upon.

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If we can take the lead we have a chance - but given the way we are defending I doubt we will.

I can't see anything other than a City win. Their strength is in attack, our weakness is in defence.

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If we can take the lead we have a chance - but given the way we are defending I doubt we will.

I can't see anything other than a City win. Their strength is in attack, our weakness is in defence.

Nothing like a bit of optimism eh Martin?

If we play as well as we did on Sunday then anything is possible. Time for a Pederson (Gamst) special maybe?

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