Football in full-fledge. Games coming left, right and centre. After a midweek matchday of UEFA Champions League, we return to the Premier League football. It is like a delicious full-course meal twice a week. We welcome matchday 6 for another weekend of blistering football. Manchester City will host the Nottingham Forest for their sixth fixture of the campaign.
With high confidence, after defeating Crvena Zvezda in midweek UCL fixture, thanks to the brilliant brace by Alvarez, Man City looks in good shape. Table toppers so far. Playing like they are here to defend the title for the 4th time in a row. The squad is promising. Injuries are not holding them back at all. New signings are working perfectly. Doku has been able to collect a goal and praise from all around the place. It has been so long since City has had a proper LW, who can rattle down the opponents with pace and put the ball right into the box. Haaland will not even need to leave his place. The brilliance is so great that Haaland might become a tap-in merchant.
About the visitors, Forest barely escaped the relegation last year. This year, they are currently at the 8th position, the same number as the players they signed on the deadline day. Revamping the squad speaks volumes. Not only revamped but strength is added. The board has shown confidence and backed Steve Cooper.
Signings like Ibrahim Sangare, Anthony Elanga, Hudson-Odoi, Montiel and many more ensure that there is enough quality at the gaffer’s disposal. So far, they have faced top guns like Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, with facing defeat with the previous two and making the latter face defeat. The one against City would be a difficult task, let us see how Cooper is up to it. Man City vs Nottingham, hmm interesting!
Man City’s Pre-Season form: W W W W W
Nottingham Forest’s Pre-Season form: D W L W L
WHEN & WHERE?
Where: London Stadium, London.
When: Saturday, 23th September 2023.
Time: 7:30 PM IST / 2:00 PM GMT.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn.
Fourth official: Dean Whitestone.
VAR: Michael Salisbury.
Assistant VAR: Derek Eaton.
Manchester City might be welcoming Jack Grealish, after his 4-week absence due to injury. De Bruyne remains on the sidelines as a long-term absentee. Mateo Kovacic’s case still looks unsure and Bernardo Silva is on his way to miss another match.
Defender Willy Boly might bless his presence after an illness. While the availability of Felipe and Serge Aurier is still in doubt. And a hamstring injury unables Danilo from taking part in this fixture.
Manchester City will make no changes in their game plan. It is pretty much the same one, a back 4 with a double pivot in the middle following a CAM-ish player along with 2 on the wings and a Erling Haaland upfront. With Jeremy Doku as a left winger, the absence of Jack Grealish is not felt. Rather, it is like a newfound freedom that has been offered to the play-style due to his 1v1 take-ons and dribbling. Julian Alvarez has started to step up lately. He is a fantastic player, there is not a single thing he cannot do upfront. It will be a headache once Pep gets all his players back from injury, at his disposal.
Steve Cooper usually likes the 3-4-2-1 shape. Although sometimes it is the 4-2-3-1, basically, it is a system where there is a back 3, an advanced role for Serge Aurier for providing width. Two players playing a number 10 sort of role, bit classic innit, and a striker upfront. The structure is compact and players play in a close-conformity so to disallow any spaces between the lines.
What a delight this guy is to watch! A complete player in every sense of the word. Just recently he scored a brace and helped City get back on track. You must be good if it takes Haaland to bench you. But he has shown that he other-worldly and is not defined by a single position. Total football runs through his veins. Anywhere he will go, he will win the hearts. Thus, he is the one to look out for in the fixture.
Manchester City’s predicted lineup vs Newcastle United: Ederson; Gvardiol, Akanji, Dias, Walker; Nunes, Rodri; Doku, Alvarez, Foden; Haaland.
Nottingham Forest’s predicted lineup vs Man City: Turner; McKenna, Worrall, Boly; Tavares, Mangala, Sangare, Aina; Gibbs-White, Yates; Awoniyi.