Tag Archive | "Manchester City"

Villarreal vs. Manchester City Preview, Picks, Tips, & Analysis 11/2/11

We always knew that Group A was going to be one of the toughest groups in the Champions League group stage schedule this year. However, we didn’t know just how difficult this group was really going to be. On Wednesday, we might be facing a bit of a de facto elimination battle between Villarreal and Manchester City, as these two teams are trying to get out of the gutter in Group A.

For Man City, a 1-1-1 start to the Champions League slate was unimaginable. The team has been just so insanely efficient in the Premier League, it isn’t even funny. It went on the road and absolutely thrashed Manchester United at Old Trafford, a feat that is never easily accomplished, and it has scored 36 goals in 10 fixtures in domestically as well. The Citizens are 9-1-0 and have a +28 goal differential, and they really are off to one of the best starts that a team has ever had in this league.

It’s clear that there are just riches and riches of talent on this team. Sergio Aguero has nine goals this year, as does Edin Dzeko. Mario Balotelli has five strikes, while David Silva has three. That doesn’t even include the power of Carlos Tevez, whose antics have seen him essentially jettisoned from the squad. Perhaps getting the Tevez drama over and done with after losing at Bayern Munich earlier in the Champions League will be just what the doctor has ordered for the Citizens if they hope to get out of Group A this year.

It’s tough to say that Villarreal really needs to get three points out of this fixture, but that unfortunately, really is the case. The team is in the gutter, and it is going to be a decided underdog in this fixture, and without any real freebee matches to come, the team can’t afford to sit here at the bottom for very long.

The truth of the matter is that the faster this team gets out of European competitions, the quicker that it can focus on La Liga. This year has been a certified disaster for the Spanish side, going 2-4-4 in its first 10 matches. Before Saturday’s win against Rayo at home, the team had lost back to back matches by 3-0 counts.

In the second of those matches against Real Madrid, the team’s top striker, Giuseppe Rossi was knocked out with an ACL injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the year. He certainly won’t be around in this match and likely will not be on the bench for support either. Without Rossi, who already has three goals domestically this year and netted two just to get the team into the Champions League this year, there is a real void that Villarreal just will not be able to fill.

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These two teams met on October 18th on English soil, a match that nearly ended in disaster for the hosts. They were behind 1-0 just four minutes in, and it took an Aguero goal in the 90th minute just to pick up the three points in that crucial tie.

Villarreal doesn’t have a point yet in the Champions League, and a loss parlayed with a win for Napoli over Bayern Munich ensures that its European campaign is finished. Even a win will still keep it in last place, though at least qualification is fathomable at that point.

For Man City, a win will most likely boost it back into the qualifying territory for the UCL knockout rounds. It is currently one point back of Napoli and three behind Bayern Munich. Goal differential could be key as well, as the Citizens are currently at a -1, and even a one goal victory could still leave them on some tenuous ground going forward for the rest of this competition.

Posted in Champions League (UCL), Featured

Manchester United vs. Manchester City Premier League Tips 10/23/11

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The top of the Premier League table will be determined on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford, as arguably the two best teams in England duke it out when Manchester United takes on Manchester City in the biggest derby of the year.

Though Chelsea is just a single point behind United and three behind City, there is no doubt that the two sides from Manchester have been the most impressive of all this year. They are two of the three sides that have not been beaten on the campaign (joining the surprises of the Premier League season, Newcastle United), and they have combined to score 52 goals against 12 allowed in eight fixtures apiece.

Nigel De Jong, the heart and soul of this Man City side, claims that his team is traveling to Old Trafford as the table toppers and should be treated as such. And why not? The team has more goals away from home this year (14) than as the guests (13).

The Citizens do have some results that are worth being concerned about this year, though. They were beaten in the Champions League at Bayern Munich 2-0 in a game in which they were thoroughly dominated, and they also only drew 2-2 at Craveners Cottage against Fulham back on September 18th.

Even though Carlos Tevez looks like he will never suit up in the light blue again, this is still a team with some awesome firepower. Man City dropped a pair of goals, including a late winner on Villarreal on Tuesday night in the Champions League, and it has scored at least two goals in all of its Premier League fixtures this year.

Of course, the Red Devils have all of the pride, history, and tradition on their side in this one, and they are hoping to snare three points to get back to the top of the table where they feel they belong.

United was unlucky not to snare all three points at Anfield against Liverpool last weekend, as it was equalized late on in a match that could have been much, much worse. That being said, this isn’t a team that is in fine form right now. A 2-0 win at doormats, Otelul Galati in the Champions League on Tuesday only came courtesy of two penalty kicks by Wayne Rooney, and prior to that, the team only has one win (home against Norwich City) in its last five total matches.

These two teams have already met once this year, and it was a thrilling match to say the least. City took a 2-0 lead in the Community Shield, only to cough that lead up. Ultimately, Man U was able to steal the Cup at the death. Nani, who is emerging as a leader on this veteran side, netted the equalizer in the 58th minute and the winner in stoppage time for the Red Devils.

Probably more thanks to their names than anything else, United gets the slight nod from the oddsmakers in this one at even money to take all three points. We tend to fancy the Citizens though, as they truly might have the best side in England this season and could prove it in the biggest match of the year to date on Sunday.

Posted in English Premier League, Featured

Manchester City Football – Carlos Tevez Suspension News

Over the course of the last two seasons, Carlos Tevez proved to be an absolutely invaluable player in the Premier League. He has helped developed Manchester City FC into one of the formidable sides in the EPL, and he has a whopping 43 goals to his name since coming over from cross town rivals, Manchester United. However, the Citizens are looking to suspend Tevez into January, potentially signaling the end of his time playing in Manchester once and for all.

Tevez has only played in two fixtures this entire season thanks to fact that there is just such a plethora of strikers up front for the Citizens. At any given time, Manager Roberto Mancini can call upon Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, or Tevez to play up front. Normally speaking, it has been Tevez that has found himself on the bench in these ties.

Needless to say, this was a situation in which the Argentine was not a happy camper. He made his displeasure known throughout England in the media, but the final act of disgrace finally came in a midweek tie against Bayern Munich.

With his team getting completely outplayed on German soil, Tevez reportedly refused to enter the game as a substitute even though Mancini requested that he get into the game. Tevez and his camp suggest that he refused to warm up a second time, as he was seen running up and down the sidelines off the pitch early in the second half.

As a result, Man City has suspended Tevez without pay for the next two weeks. Now, they are looking to see if they can impose that ban all the way into the January transfer season, where they would love to be able to get some sort of fee in exchange for his services instead of just cutting him loose and being without their striker or any money to show for it.

Things could be getting worse for the Citizens as well. The aforementioned Edin Dzeko was awfully unhappy about getting substituted against Bayern Munich as well. Nigel De Jong came on to replace Dzeko, who was noticeably upset and in a yelling match with his manager after the change.

The difference here between the spat with Dzeko and the one with Tevez (which ironically likely would have been what the substitution was had it gone through) was that Dzeko apologized both to his manager in private, and in the public light on Thursday, and all is considered water under the bridge.

Not that there is ever a good time to get into a dispute with star players like this one, but at least the good news for the Citizens is that after this week’s fixture, they are off for two full weeks. Saturday’s clash at Blackburn Rovers could be a feisty challenge though, especially with the team potentially coming in shorthanded and very aggravated with the way that it played against the German powerhouses on Tuesday night.

Posted in English Premier League, Featured

Manchester City 2011-12 Premier League Odds Could Be Key to Victory

Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Fergusson has referred to Manchester City as his team’s, “Noisy neighbors” in years past, but this season, it could be the Citizens who finally overtake the Red Devils as the top team in Manchester.

Man City is the second favorite on the board on the odds to win the English Premiership at 7/2 at Bet365, and we tend to believe that this is the year that that could cash in. Manager Roberto Mancini has assembled a team full of stars, but there is a question whether all of this spending was done in good taste, or just with a reckless abandon.

Sergio Aguero is the newest signing for the Citizens, coming over from Atletico Madrid as one of the newest strikers in the Premier League. He joins fellow newcomers Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic, adding to a team that had already spent well over 100 million pounds last season. Last year’s spending was parlayed into a Champions League bid for this season and an FA Cup title. On Sunday, the team will challenge the Red Devils for the FA Community Shield.

The big question is whether last summer’s major signing, Carlos Tevez is going to stay with the team or not. Tevez either scored or set up nearly half of Man City’s goals last season in the Premier League, and if he stays, he is sure to challenge for a second straight Golden Boot after tying Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov for top league honors in 2010-11. The problem that Tevez has is that City’s signing of Aguero really leaves a bit of a logjam for time up front. Tevez and Aguero seem like they’re shoe ins up front, but the possibility is definitely there for Edin Dzeko (even though he only scored two goals in the league all of last season), Craig Bellamy (whom many feel will be transferred before the start of the season), Emmanuel Adebayor, and Roque Santa Cruz. Mario Balotelli was a regular in the Starting XI last year as well and should factor into the rotation in some form.

A young net minder in Joe Hart won the Golden Glove last season with 18 clean sheets, nearly half of Manchester City’s league matches, and he is sure to be helped a heck of a lot by adding Clichy, a former Arsenal defender, to his back line. Savic will also be back there with Vincent Kompany, the man who very well could be the next captain of this squad should Tevez leave. Gary Cahill and Aleksander Kolarov are also both possibilities, while Kolo Toure remains with the squad to boot.

The midfield is chock full of names for this team as well. The Citizens know that Shaun Wright-Phillips has a ton of Premiership experience with some top notch clubs, while Nigel De Jong is also expecting better in his second year with Man City. David Silva is one of the best striking midfielders in the world when he is healthy, and both Yaya Toure and Adam Johnson have shown flashes of brilliance to boot.

The question is whether all of this improvement for the Citizens has really drawn them that much closer to the 19-time champs. Manchester United is sure to be looking for title No. 20 this season, but if Hart can keep his cool and Mancini can find himself a comfortable balance in his Starting XI, Man City is definitely going to make a huge challenge this season at its first Premier League title since 1967-68.

Posted in English Premier League, Featured


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