Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Manchester City v Swansea City

The Premier League kicks off (sorry for the pun) this weekend, but Manchester City don't face off with Swansea City until Monday. It's Swansea's first ever game in the Prem after being promoted from the Championship last season.

Premier League new boys Swansea should be geared up for their big debut and will be looking to cause a big upset. City however will want to bounce right back from a poor display against close rivals Manchester United last Sunday.

City are, for the first time in over 30 years, considered real title contenders after Sheikh Mansour has transformed them from mid table obscurity to one of the best teams in the country. They will be looking to start the season with a good win in the hope that they can gain some early momentum as they try to mount a serious title challenge.

The City faithful will be eager to see the first Etihad Stadium Poznan and will no doubt want to see it several times during the 90 minutes. A big score and a clean sheet will be the perfect way to kick start a drive for the Premier League title.

Swansea on the other hand will be desperate to get anything they can and City will do well not to underestimate them. For the first few weeks the Swans will be playing off adrenaline and that alone can make for some interesting results. But in all honesty, although no game is easy, City couldn't have asked for a better game to start the season than a game at the Etihad Stadium against the winners of the promotion playoffs.

One thing that is yet to be officially settled is the Captaincy. It is still to be seen whether Mancini will strip Tevez of the arm band, but we will only know that has happened if Tevez starts the game, however after only a week of training it is unlikely. Vincent Kompany has been captain throughout pre-season and City fans will be hoping Mancini shows some backbone and keeps it that way even after the Argentinian returns to full match fitness. 

Another thing that City fans will be hoping to hear confirmed is the debut of record signing Sergio Aguero. After being named on the bench last Sunday it was expected that he would at least get a run out, but that never materialised. He is still doubtful to start but Sergio has said he is fine and has recovered.

As the kick off draws ever nearer, you can expect the David and Goliath comparisons in the media, but I'm sure we'll hear about the money more. And don't forget that Swansea have an excellent team spirit and have the drive and motivation that the harmony in a dressing room perpetuates. And of course it will be pointed out that Carlos wants to leave and that Balo 'hates' Manchester blah blah blah. I'm sure you all know the score on the media front. We wouldn't hear it if it was Chelsea or United would we? Or is that just me being paranoid? 

I would give you a possible starting 11 but despite being right about the team that lined up in the Community Shield, with a squad like City's and the fact that Mancini can make Claudio Ranieri's team selection look consistent, the starting 11 I give you will inevitably be wrong.

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