Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: 15 March 2016
Kick off: 19:45
Are Manchester City dark horses to win the Champions League this season? Manuel thinks “that we can do it” and Joe Hart, perhaps the voice most worthy of being listened to at this moment in time, insists “we’ve got to believe we can win it otherwise there’s no point in turning up.”
Now I’ve calmed down a little since Saturday afternoon, but if our form in the league is to serve as an indicator for how the remainder of our European journey is going to unfold, we’re screwed. I don’t mean to be negative; but we are, though, aren’t we? Can you imagine what’ll happen if we meet a Barcelona or a Bayern Munich in the next round? Dark horses? Pfft, they’ll make us look like miniature My Little Pony figurines melting on a chiminea.
That’ll only happen if we continue to play like we did against Norwich, of course. OK, so the passing may have alright, but the lack of ingenuity and incision was troubling. As a fellow City Watch contributor reminded me today, though, ‘the most beautiful thing about football is that there’s always the next match’ and that’s exactly the mindset us City fans should adopt right now. Our performances in Champions League this term have generally been very impressive and I suppose the competition will now be looked at as a saving grace by Manuel and the players.
Winning it is a huge ask even for the best in the business. Real Madrid went 10 years without winning the trophy before Carlo Ancelotti led them to victory at the Estádio da Luz in 2014 and Bayern Munich are yet to reach the final under the stewardship of who many believe to be the best coach in world football.
Winning our next European game, however, I don’t see beings too much of a problem. It was all very straightforward in the Ukraine three weeks ago when goals from Sergio, Yaya and David earned us a 3-1 win against Dynamo Kiev. In order to prevent us reaching the quarter finals for the first time in our history, Serhiy Rebrov’s side must score at least three goals and it would take an almighty f*** up from us for them to do so. After all, the Ukrainian’s have traveled to England 13 times and have failed to win a single game.
Yaya is back after missing the 0-0 draw against Norwich with a heel injury while De Bruyne, Delph and Nasri remain sidelined. Eliaquim Mangala was not included in the squad on Saturday, but is fit to play.
The visitors are without Oleksandr Rybka (knee), Mykola Morozyuk (knee), Junior Moraes (adductor) and Serhiy Rybalka (groin).
A win tomorrow followed by a quarter final draw with Benfica so we can all go and get liquored on the Super Bocks in Lisbon and I’ll be a very happy man.
Predict the score:
[statsfc-score-predictor key=”D8SJIk7F6vySBuDaFQRSHy11xfbyCt18uXRinj2b” team=”Man City” date=”2016-03-15″ default_css=”true”]