Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Manchester City v Wigan Athletic

The international distraction is over and we can get back to business in the Premier League, and this weekend City host Wigan in the 4th game of the season. It shapes up to be Wigan's first big test and they will certainly be up against it with the kind of form City find themselves in.

City have been imperious so far and this was most present against Spurs as they thumped them 5-1 at White Hart lane. Edin Dzeko stole the show by running riot in Tottenham, bagging himself 4 brilliantly taken goals before walking off the match ball. I'll stop the riot puns there before I run away with myself....

Unfortunately City haven't come away unscathed from the internationals. Micah returned to Manchester early due to a hamstring injury although it looks as though he may be fit for Saturday. There are also doubts surrounding Samir Nasri as reports from France are suggesting he has broken a bone in his hand. At the moment there is still no news on whether De Jong has recovered and has any chance of featuring either.

City shouldn't feel too bad though as Mancini was always likely to shuffle the pack ahead of the Napoli game on Wednesday, such is the strength of the current squad.

Pablo Zabaleta can step in at right back if Micah isn't fit. Even Nedum has a chance of getting into the squad despite his mother's horrendously ill-timed and quite obviously vindictive revelations which could have quite easily backfired as far as her son's career is concerned. That was in no way condoning any one's actions by the way, but if you look at the information presented to us at the moment, it appears Ned's mum has serious issues with City's board (other than the email).

Gareth Barry has perhaps been in the best form of his career this season. A ridiculously unsung hero last term and he appears to have upped his game again, looking fitter and sharper for both club and country. While De Jong is out he is undoubtedly the main man for holding the midfield together with the aid of Milner and Yaya.

With Tevez deemed surplus to requirements for Argentina's friendlies he is the most rested of the City strikers so I wouldn't be surprised to see him start. Although a recent interview made it appear he still felt he was club captain, we will know for sure if/when both he and Kompany walk out on to the pitch together this weekend. Personally there is only one choice there, the armband stays with Kompany. 

So far this season Martinez has opted for Franco Di Santo as his first choice up front. Early signs suggest that Martinez was right to put his faith in the 22 year old Argentinean because he has been rewarded with 2 goals in 3 games, both of which were scored against QPR in their first game. This doubled Franco's tally from last year as he only scored once in 25 Premier League games. In fact it's matched his goals 'haul' from the last 2 seasons in the Premiership. Di Santo also assisted Wigan's only other goal so far in the 1-1 draw at home to Swansea.

City should also keep an eye on Rodallega who has scored 19 goals in the last 2 seasons at Wigan. Although he's not prolific, he can still cause a few problems.

As for the result, on paper City should walk it, but football isn't played on paper. The lads can not approach this game thinking it will be a walk in the park because if they do that they are likely to have a tough afternoon. There is no doubt though that if City are in the mood we could be in for another beautiful lesson in football.

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