Manchester City were stunned in mid week when, in what on paper many saw as a routine Champions League group stage win, the Blues were beaten 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium by unfancied French side Lyon.
City were without Pep Guardiola, who served a one-match touchline ban, for the game and in his place Mikel Arteta – the man many tip to ultimately succeed Guardiola in future years – roamed the technical area in what would be an unhappy test run for him.
Guardiola’s men are known for their resilience and losing two games in a row for this Manchester City side is almost unthinkable. That’s why a win over Cardiff City this weekend is crucial, to allow the players to quickly rebuild their morale and regain their momentum.
City travel to Wales for the second time in a year, despite Neil Warnock’s side being newly promoted. City overcame Cardiff in last season’s FA Cup but had to overcome a physical battle in which Joe Bennett injured Leroy Sané with a horror tackle.
Looking at trusted online websites – or as an Indian Blue might call them, Website judi online terpercaya – Manchester City are overwhelming favourites to win this fixture with few fancying a Cardiff upset, despite the possibility that the Premier League champions will be feeling low after losing to Lyon on Wednesday.
Sergio Aguero, with a phenomenal record against newly promoted sides such as Cardiff, will play his 300th game for City since arriving for what turned out to be a bargain £38 million back in 2011. Aguero, who renewed his City contract this week and will complete a decade at the Etihad Stadium by the time it expires in 2021, will be hoping to do what Gabriel Jesus failed to during the week, and get on the score sheet.
There will also be eyes on City’s club record signing Riyad Mahrez, who has yet to score a goal or register an assist since his summer move from Leicester. Mahrez is expected to start on the bench again but may be called upon later in the game, and if City are ahead, will fancy his chances of getting on the score sheet.
“Thank you so much for that (signing a new deal),” said Guardiola on the day Aguero signed his new deal. “He’s one of the players who shows his commitment to the club on the training ground every day.”
One player who will be missing though, is Benjamin Mendy, who remains on the sidelines with a foot injury. Mendy proved crucial to unlocking defences in the opening games of the season with his incredible crossing ability, but the trip to Cardiff will be the third game on the bounce he has missed, and the hope will be that he can return soon.
With a defeat on the mind, City will unlikely be complacent against Neil Warnock’s side and a spirited performance can be expected, as the Premier League champions look to keep up the pressure on Liverpool, who have made a flying start and should comfortably overcome Southampton at Anfield on Saturday.