City face Roberto Di Matteo’s in-form West Brom outfit in the Carling Cup third round at the Hawthorns. Can City continue their recent good form? Tune in
‘Shay will play if he is available, but on Monday he had a problem with his toe. If he looks better today then he plays tomorrow. ‘Boateng is OK, but he needs a week or 10 days work because he has not had any preparation since his injury in August.
‘We have a lot of problems at the moment with players injured, we will have to change five or six players tomorrow. It might even be seven, it is impossible that the same players can then play the next game against Chelsea. It’s a 12.45 kick off, and they would not have the time to recover.
‘The injured players are the same ones as for the last game. We will have to make changes, but we will be trying to win. It’s impossible to keep all players happy. This is normal at any club. You will have 11 happy players and the rest unhappy, but this is as it should be – any player who is happy not to be playing is crazy! It’s important they are not happy with the situation and that they continue to work, because I can change my mind.’
“I`m hoping to play and I think the boss may select a mix of experienced and younger players, so we`ll see, “We want to win everything we can this season – it won`t be easy, but we`ll be giving our all to be successful in each competition we take part in and the manager will only field a team he thinks can win a game.
“It`s exciting to think we are only four wins away from a Wembley final – that`s something all the players are acutely aware of and last season we came within a whisker of reaching the final, so we`re doubly determined to make sure we give each round our best shot.
“The thought of playing at Wembley one day is every kid`s dream. When I was small and living in Norway, I used to watch the FA Cup final and imagine what it would be like to walk out and play a major final there. I think West Brom will put out a strong side and they are a good home team anyway. They`ll be fired up and will be desperate to beat us, so we`re expecting it to be like a cup final anyway!”
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
Graham Dorrans is expected to start for the Baggies after successfully making his return from injury, coming off the bench in his side`s 3-1 win over Birmingham City. Joe Mattock is unlikely to be fit in time to take up his place at left back meaning Nicky Shorey will probably continue on the left side of defence. Roberto Di Matteo is expected to name a fringe side for tonight`s clash with City at the Hawthorns. The likes of Roman Bednar, Steven Reid, Gianni Zuiverloon and Giles Barnes will be in contention for starting berths
Player to watch: Graham Dorrans
Despite just returning from injury, the Scot is easily West Brom`s best player. He was their shining light last season, linking midfield and attack with some mazy runs and some quite brilliant passing. If there is one player who will be looking to make a real impression on the Premier League this season at the Hawthorns it will be the 23 year old. He has the ability to wiggle his way through tight holes and score some spectacular goals.
Manchester City Team News:
Shay Given will make his first appearance of the season in goal whilst Wayne Bridge is unlikely to start as he continues his comeback from injury. Joleon Lescott may have to settle for a place on the bench whilst expect to see a mass of youngsters also take-up their places on the bench. With Bridge, Kolarov and possibly Lescott out, Mancini could turn to Irish youngster Greg Cunningham for his first start for the club. Emmanuel Adebayor could start for the Blues, alongside the favoured Jo in attack.
To be honest, this team really is anyone`s guess, and here`s mine:
City`s Possible Team:
5) Zabaleta – 38) Boyata – 4) Kompany – 22) Cunningham
11) A. Johnson – 24) Vieira – 18) Barry – 8) SWP
Player to watch: Adam Johnson
Time has passed since his whirlwind few weeks on International duty with England but for Adam Johnson it will be back to business. After being replaced by David Silva against Wigan, Johnson will be extremely keen to prove he can be a regular starter. He is likely to be up against Nicky Shorey who is defensively frail so hopefully, Adam will have him spinning left then right. He`s playing with great confidence at this moment but a goal for his club would really help the manager`s belief in him that he can pop up with goals at important times in the season, and not just be your one or two goal a-season winger.
Match Facts & Stats
The Baggies are hoping to register a fourth successive home win over Manchester City.
City have failed to qualify for the third round in three of the last five years.
MCFC have been knocked out by fellow Premier League clubs in two of the last three years.
West Brom have been dismissed by Premier League opposition in three of the last five years.
These clubs featured in the 1970 League Cup final at Wembley. Manchester City won 2-1 with goals from Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, with Jeff Astle netting for West Brom.
City should be too strong for what is expected to be an under strength West Brom side. This game represents the perfect opportunity for the likes of Adebayor and SWP to get minutes under their belt. Hopefully, if we`re cruising we`ll get a glimpse at Guidetti and the rest. I expect it to be a tighter game than many envisage but City should pull through Prediction: West Brom 0 – 1 MCFC
Saturday, 25th September v Chelsea @ 12:45 (H)
Thursday, 30th September v Juventus. EUROPA LEAGUE @ 20:05 (H)