Deja vu is a strange thing. The fans of Manchester City and Tottenham will be experiencing it tomorrow at Eastlands.
City win, Champions League football is theirs. Tottenham win, they’re three points behind City and still in with a chance. A draw, and City need two points from two games to secure it.
So, both sides will no doubt look for the win. It’s last season all over again, with the roles reversed.
So, in case of such a big game, as a City fan, I thought I’d try my hand at predicting Roberto Mancini’s starting 11. Carlos Tevez will only make the bench, while Micah Richards returns to starting contention(!).
Here’s my guess:
GK: Obvious Choice. Joe Hart has not missed a Premier League game this season.
RB: Micah Richards is back and he will displace Pablo Zabaleta.
LB: Aleksandar Kolarov is inept defensively, and Zabaleta is more than capable of filling in at LB. More importantly, "Zaba’s" a big-game player.
CBs: Like the GK, obvious choices. Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott for sure. Kompany will lead the side out as captain.
DMs: The usual. Nigel De Jong and Gareth Barry to start.
CAM: Yaya Toure. He is a class player and delivers when City need him too. His direct running will trouble Tottenham’s CBs.
RW: Adam Johnson. Was rested vs. Everton, but will no doubt start.
LAM: David Silva. City’s playmaker and most important player, he will give Tottenham real problems.
ST: Edin Dzeko has looked sharper in recent weeks, but I expect Mario Balotelli to get the nod. His off-the-ball movement is great and will be important in creating space for the runs of Yaya Toure and Adam Johnson, just like in the FA Cup semifinal. Also has the ability to score goals out of nothing.
So there’s how I expect City to line up. I could be wrong though. But I doubt I am.
This article was first seen on my blog Xavi's Through Balls.