Venue: Liberty Stadium
Date: 15 May 2016
Referee: Mike Dean
Kick off: 15:00
Seventeen days ago on the 28th April, Katherine Jenkins announced that she would perform at the Bragwyn Hall in Swansea this Christmas in a homecoming concert. The former Swansea resident will serenade her audience with a tender rendition of Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Time To Say Goodbye’; a rendition that, should we lose in the Welsh city on Sunday afternoon, will certainly be more heartfelt than the one travelling Manchester City supporters hum at the Liberty Stadium.
It’s time to say goodbye to Manuel Pellegrini; the most successful manager in the history of our football club and the most successful Premier League manager in the last three seasons. Strange, then, isn’t it that the Chilean shall be remembered as a naive tactician. One-dimensional in his approach. Boring. Soft. An under-performer.
Or will he leave as a winner? A reserved figure that extinguished a flaring dressing room? A gaffer that succeeded in bringing the best out of Yaya Touré? The man who conquered the Premier League at his first attempt and brought a ferocious style of attacking football to the club?
The jury’s still out. There’ll be married couple-like tiffs pervading social media until Guardiola arrives in 47 days time and hopefully no one will be killed in the ongoing battles. One thing’s for sure though: if we manage at least a draw on the final day (a draw that would confirm our place in the top four), regardless of whether or not we’ve regressed under his leadership, Pellegrini will bow out to applause.
That thing I said once about playing nothing-to-play-for sides at the end of the season has been completely thrown out of the window by Francesco Guidolin and his Swansea side. Seven goals and six points from two games against Liverpool and West Ham sort of dispels any myth suggesting those safe in the middle of the table struggle to summon any motivation as the fixture list draws to a close. The Swans, with one game left to go, are hissing and are fully capable of beating us tomorrow.
But without Ki Sung-Yeung, Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Łukasz Fabiański and Jefferson Montero, that task will be difficult, especially against a City side that may actually look motivated for once. National service commitments means five of the above will be rested, while Montero is out with a hamstring injury.
As for ourselves, Kolarov, Kompany, Silva and Zaba all miss out. It’s possible that of the quartet, only Silva will pull on the sky blue jersey again next term.
It’s draw or bust. Fourth place represents decline, but no one will care if we come away with at least a point. I’m just glad the season’s almost finally over.
Predict the score:
[statsfc-score-predictor key=”D8SJIk7F6vySBuDaFQRSHy11xfbyCt18uXRinj2b” team=”Man City” date=”2016-05-15″ default_css=”true”]