If ever a Pep talk was needed it’s this game. Dean Smith has to make sure that the players leave the dressing room, believing they have a chance of getting points from this game. The last thing Dean Smith needs is the players taking to the field and feeling beat before a ball has even been kicked.
How do we deal with Pep Guardiola’s team, do we change tactics and play two holding mids? For me, I think that sends the wrong message out. And if we do, then what happens if we then concede early? I think we just have to concentrate on our own game and hope Smith and co have found some vulnerabilities of City’s to exploit.
Lets be honest, not many of us gave us a pray at the Emirates. Yet we gave it a right good go. And with a little more experience at this level, we probably would have caused an upset. That’s how I want to see us approach this game. Show no fear, and give it a good go. How many teams are going to hold out defending against Peps Man City for 90 minutes? So what we got to lose.
On the other hand, I am concerned our goal difference could take a battering if we are too open. At present, we have a far better goal difference than some of those teams below us. We don’t want to gift wrap those teams an early Christmas present. So while I want us to have a go. I want us to be pragmatic in our approach. lets not ruin it by being stupid.
I do worry for our fullbacks getting exposed by Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva. So we must give our fullbacks support. The trouble is Man City are so good at manipulating and passing the ball. They’re not too shabby at exploiting the spaces players vacate either. Which eventually leads to players tiring and mistakes being made. So What’s the answer? Using our substitutes sensibly, and not being wasteful in possession. More importantly, be clinical because chances are likely to be scarce. If we do this, then hopefully, Pep as a bad day at the office.