Manchester City preview

Sunday 8th May at The Etihad

Kick off 16:30. “And it’s live” on Sky. 

It doesn’t get any easier for Eddie’s Mags this coming Sunday in the battle of the wedge as we make the 150 mile trip to the current Premier League champions.

Following on from a non-too embarrassing and expected defeat at the hands of media darlings Liverpool “They’re on for the quadruple you know?” FC, we turn up at the blue half of Manchester with one sandal on the beach.

Let’s be honest here…. We couldn’t lay a hand on Liverpool at the weekend, and they barely got out of second gear, and it may not be much different on Sunday.

Both sides might be richer than Michael Buble at Xmas. but that’s where the comparisons end, I’m afraid. Whilst we look forward to a glorious summer of endless transfer links and a serious squad upgrade, City are still “fighting for this title” and should they win their final 4 games, they’ll be crowned champions once again.

The Citizens (or Cityzens depending on which website you Google) host us in fine fettle. Despite the fact that Pep decided to keep his ‘striker-powder’ dry again in the summer, they’re on one of their hot streaks of form and will be confident of dispatching Newcastle, as is the norm these days.

However, we head down the A1 and across the M62 with precisely nowt to lose. We’re as safe as houses thanks to an incredible U-Turn in form since Christmas, and the difference that Wor Eddie has made mustn’t be understated. The lazy journos who claim the £100m we spent in January has secured our top flight status can get in the f***ing bin. Eddie Howe has done an incredible job since he took over from the bacon-meister in November. We are stronger, fitter and far more savvy nowadays, and this has as much to do with Eddie’s genius as the cash we spent. So get back in your box!

Chris Wood has divided the fan base since his £25m arrival in the January window. He’s only troubled the scorers a couple of times this year, but I won’t underestimate his contribution in other areas that has helped up climb the league to a nose-bleeding 10th as I write this. I’d like to see him come back in on Sunday, if only to give us some kind of presence up front. ASM really cannot play as a focal striker and J7 needs to push back into that midfield 3 with Shelvey and Bruno.

I’d also love to see places on the bench for both Kieran Trippier and the enigmatic Callum Wilson, and recent Insta stories from both talismen suggest they’re pretty close to returns. Oh how we’ve missed our #9 up top!!! I would think that KT might be a little closer, but I can’t see him being thrown in ahead of the “Swedish Cafu” on Sunday.

Other than that, I think it’s pretty much as you were from the side that kept Liverpool to a solitary goal last weekend.

I’m looking forward to my annual Etihad visit this weekend. My best pal, Chris (he’s contributed to a couple of TF articles in the past) is a long serving City season ticket holder, so it’ll be a cracking weekend of beers and hopefully some sunshine football. My main fear, having watched them capitulate to two “Florian Lejeune-esque” goals in Spain is that they’ll be looking for a response against us and a true backlash could be on the cards!

The Etihad really isn’t a happy hunting ground for The Mags, and I can’t see much difference this coming Sunday. They’ll be bang up for it, regardless of how they perform in The Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

I’d be lying if I thought we’ll come away with anything. We have form for conceding 4 down there, and I don’t see Sunday as anything more than a convincing City win. 4-1 to City (I hear you calling me a miserable bastard) but as I close out my final preview of the season, all I can say is that the result doesn’t matter too much for us and that the summer fun can’t come soon enough.

Thanks for reading my nonsense this season and I look forward to next year’s charge for Europe.

I’ll be passing you over to Nick and CFM for the final two previews of this topsy turvey season…

Howay the Lads

@peekeekay – Paul Karter