Here we are, back together, ready to indulge in some peak-Barclays viewing today.
So what can we expect away at Manchester City?
A tough game. Sorry to be very obvious here, but Manchester City are hurting at the moment and they really need to impose themselves back on the league.
First game back can go either way. It’s an advantage in one sense, because teams have only had a couple of training sessions to crack the code. The fact that they don’t have KDB and a striker of note is also a big win for us.
Arteta has his side on better paper form, but really, we haven’t blown a game out the park so far this season. This would be a nice one to execute a sound plan really well.
Again, I wouldn’t be expecting us to express ourselves. We’re going to take our chances on the break, we’ll test their centre backs, and we’ll try and play very patiently.
The key is always defence. If David Luiz starts, you’ll know within 6 minutes which one showed up. We can’t have it be the Luiz who came on last time and had one of the worst performances of the season. We need the towering leader of a defender that took us to an FA Cup final win.
It’ll also be interesting to see how tempted the manager is to use Thomas Partey. Suspicion says it’s too early and he’ll go with Xhaka and Ceballos. Hopefully, he’ll see some minutes off the bench.
Nicolas Pepe, on form, could be interesting today. He lit up the last game with his energy and quick passing. Question is, does the manager really trust him? If we’re to have any sort of free-flowing football this year, it’ll likely have to include him. We know he has it in him to be world-class, we just don’t see it often enough.
I don’t have lot to offer today, but we’ll be back with a podcast and a match report tomorrow.
ENJOY THE GAME HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW! x