The games are coming thick and fast!
Can City carry their UEFA Champions League form into the domestic league? Here are five things to look out for on Saturday afternoon…
An important weekend…
Does anyone, apart from Leicester, want to win this Premier League title?
That was the question asked my pundits following last weekend’s round of fixtures which featured City losing to Stoke, United drawing with West Ham, Spurs being held by West Brom and champions Chelsea going down to Bournemouth.
City returned to their normal level of performance in the final half an hour against Borussia Monchengladbach and will hope that they can carry that form into the Premier League.
If they can, they will return to the top of the table, for 24 hours at least, and heap pressure on Arsenal who take on an improving Aston Villa on Sunday.
If you’re looking for value in the betting market, City’s Ivorian duo both have excellent records in this fixture… on both sides!
Wilfried Bony, who scored and made two in midweek, has scored four goals in the last three Premier League meetings between City and Swansea, with one for his current side and three for the Jacks.
His club and international teammate Yaya Toure has equally impressive stats in this fixture with four in his last three against the Swans – we prefer that one!
Swansea club legend Alan Curtis takes the managerial reigns following Gary Monk’s dismissal earlier in the week.
The 61-year old will be charged with getting a tune out of a side without a Premier League win since the end of October.
Since, the South Wales outfit have lost to Leicester, Liverpool, Norwich and Arsenal, leaving them in 15th place in the table, just one point clear of the drop zone.
City seem to have a knack of meeting teams immediately after they’ve changed managers – let’s hope the fabled short-term boost is postponed until next weekend…
The form guide…
City have won 13 and lost two of their last 15 Premier League at the Etihad, while Swansea have won just one of their last eight away outings (won one, drawn two, lost five).
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have scored more goals and fired in more shots on target than any other side this season with 99, while the Jacks have failed to score in seven of their last 11 matches, including four of their last five.
All of the stats seem to point towards a home win but, as City have learned on many occasions this season already, the form guide can make fools of us all.
Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri are all expected to miss Saturday’s game but we’ll have to wait until Manuel Pellegrini’s press conference on Friday lunchtime to find out whether Sergio Aguero has a chance of returning to the fold.
The Argentine ace has missed the last three games, while his compatriot Martin Demichelis should be fit enough to come back into the squad following a minor injury which kept him out of the game against Borussia.
On Aguero, Pellegrini may just be tempted to err on the side of caution with a rare match-less midweek coming up and with Bony and Sterling looking capable of leading the line on Tuesday night.
That might just give Manuel the opportunity to get Kun fit and firing with Arsenal away coming up fast… we'll see!