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When the fixtures were released this summer, I know I wasn’t alone in not traditionally looking for when we play the rags for the first time that I can recall. Outside of not being in the same division, of course.
Instead, it was when we would next play Middlesbrough that could not come soon enough.
The pain of 5/11 is still very much with us from when the City team, wracked by uncertainty on the back of a shocking run of results during ‘Svengate’ shamed us all with an absolute disgrace of a non performance.
Of the 14 that no showed in Sky Blue that day, Dunne, Ball, Ireland, Gelson, Petrov, Elano, Garrido, Vassell, Hamann, Benjani and Castillo remain in the City squad.
Of all those players only Dunne, Ireland, Elano, Garrido and Hamman are in contention to make the 18 on Wednesday night. And nothing less than 150% effort will do from any of them.
City’s badge reads ‘Pride In Battle’ and there is a massive amount of pride to be restored on Teeside this week.
Johnny On The Spot?
Since that 8-1 mauling Middlesbrough appear to have reverted to the type of form that saw them finish last season with a minus 10 goal difference in the bottom half of the table.
They have won only one of their last six games and have been beaten at home in their last two fixtures. A defeat to newly promoted West Brom and a hammering from Chelski.
City’s attackers are on absolute fire having hit 23 league goals in 9 Premier League fixtures so far this season. Our beleaguered defence will also take great heart from the clean sheet against the Stoke bombers.
Stephen Ireland is in the form of his life with Elano returning to top form and their increasingly brilliant cunning strings pulling should ensure that Boro come up against a very different Manchester City.
Middlesbrough 0 City 3
Vital MC hopes to bring you our 10th Magnificent Seven Pre Match Interview with Vital Middlesbrough before Wednesday night’s clash.