IT’S SILVERWARE TIME – Capital One Cup Preview

Predicted XI’s

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Touré, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Milner, Henderson, Coutinho, Sturridge, Firmino

Manchester City: Caballero, Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Yaya Touré, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Aguero

The first silverware of the season is up for grabs on Sunday but will the Capital One Cup Final see the start of Klopp’s tenure start with a bang or the end of Pellegrini’s time in charge with City at least the one trophy for the Chilean? Continue reading “IT’S SILVERWARE TIME – Capital One Cup Preview”

‘The Next Test for Middlesbrough under Karanka’ Middlesbrough vs. Everton, League Cup Quarter Final, 1/12/15

Predicted XI’s

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Nsue, Ayala, Amorebieta, Friend, Clayton, Adomah, Forshaw, Downing, Stuani, Nugent

Everton: Robles, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway, Cleverly, Gibson, Deulofeu, Barkley, Naismith, Lukaku

Second in the Championship. 6 wins out of 7 in the League with the only defeat in that coming against promotion rivals Hull City. Middlesbrough and Aitor Karanka seem to have built upon the foundations laid down by the Spaniard in his maiden full campaign. Middlesbrough have been on an upward curve under Karanka with season finishes of 12th and 4th (losing in the play offs to Norwich), Middlesbrough look ready for the Premier League big time once more. With the seeming dearth of Premier League talent in the North-East, this could be Middlesbrough’s time to shine and to come out of the shadows from their closest of rivals. Continue reading “‘The Next Test for Middlesbrough under Karanka’ Middlesbrough vs. Everton, League Cup Quarter Final, 1/12/15”

Interesting Start to the Festive Fixtures for Two Title Chargers, Capital One Cup Quarter-Final, 1/12/15

Predicted XI’s

Man City: Caballero, Sagna, Demichelis, Otadmendi, Kolarov, Fernando, Delph, Navas, Silva, De Bruyne, Bony

Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady, Maguire, Davies, Robertson, Huddlestone, Livermore, Clucas, Diame, Hernandez, Snodgrass

At the start of December, with another European game still to play, Hull City coming to the Etihad this evening isn’t the easiest of games for Manuel Pellegrini to rest some players for the frivolities of playing football in England over Christmas. Whilst other leagues start to wind down coming into January, the Premier League kicks on and with injuries mounting, a League Cup fixture where some of the more peripheral figures took to the field would have been ideal preparation for City. Whilst that may not be the case this evening, the return of David Silva really could be one of those ‘it’s like a new signing’ moments coming up to Christmas. The Spaniard, missing for two months, is a world class player on his day and certainly eases the creative burden on De Bruyne and the rest of City’s attacking players. Continue reading “Interesting Start to the Festive Fixtures for Two Title Chargers, Capital One Cup Quarter-Final, 1/12/15”

Tottenham vs Arsenal – Capital One Cup 3rd Round, 23/09/2015

When I came back from work I was somewhat excited at the prospect of watching a decent cup derby. The League Cup had been somewhat generous this year with two derbies; Villa against Birmingham the night before and a mid-week North London derby at such an early round brought a little magic to the darken September evening. Not quite the glitz and heritage of the FA Cup but surely a little more enticing than the next round of the Great British Bake Off and yet I was left a little disappointed by the show at White Hart Lane. Here we had a battle of styles; Wenger’s philosophy of possession against Pochettino’s high pressing game in a fixture which just seemingly delivers goals for fun, a cash cow of excitement. Yet this game was more about the lack of fluency than anything else. Continue reading “Tottenham vs Arsenal – Capital One Cup 3rd Round, 23/09/2015”