Talking Points: Fond farewell to the Boleyn?
- 22 January 2016 17:29
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
City travel to the capital on Saturday looking to string together consecutive Premier League away wins for the first time since September.
Here’s what to look out for on our final league trip to one of the most historic grounds in English football…
For the final time…
There is a chance that City will draw West Ham away in the FA Cup but, if not, this will be the club’s final visit to the Boleyn Ground.
The Hammers are moving to the Olympic Stadium for 2015/16 and so City will wave farewell to a ground intrinsically linked to memories good, not so good and bittersweet.
Consecutive clean sheets…
Without wishing to tempt fate, it looks as though City’s defensive issues have been largely ironed out in recent weeks.
We’ve now kept clean sheets in three consecutive games (four in our last six) and have only conceded one Premier League goal in this, admittedly embryonic, calendar year.
Eliaquim Mangala remains out of action for this trip to the capital but Martin Demichelis and Nicolas Otamendi have struck up a decidedly stingy partnership in 2016 and will hope to keep up this impressive form on Saturday.
All that said, a cursory glance at the recent head-to-head record in this fixture tells its own tale.
City were on a run of just one defeat in 14 against the Hammers until last season but now the Londoners have won two of the last three meetings between the teams.
Their home form is impressive too – they’re unbeaten in their last eight at the Boleyn Ground, winning four and drawing four of those games.
Time for vengeance?
Of course it was West Ham who burst the bubble that was our perfect start to the season back in September, inflicting a 2-1 defeat and ending our 11-match winning run in the process.
Nicolas Otamendi has admitted that revenge is contributing to his motivation for this game.
“We weren’t at our best,” The General told mcfc.co.uk. “But credit to West Ham. They took the game to us early on and played well. We came back into it but by the time we started playing, we were already 2-0 down and we couldn’t find a way back.
“They have played really well away from home and have got impressive results so we know they are where they are in the table on merit – but we will go there confident and aim to win.”
Left back issues…
Aleksandar Kolarov misses this one through injury, opening the door for Gael Clichy to return to the XI.
The French full-back has only made three Premier League appearances in an injury-disrupted season but he looked back up to full speed when he came on for Kolarov against Palace.
Angelino looks likely to function as back-up after he missed the Elite Development Squad’s win over Reading on Friday afternoon.
Take us to Wembley
In the big games, our fans can make a difference.
That will certainly be the case when Everton visit the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi- final on Wednesday 27 January, kick off 7.45pm.
It’s set to be a thrilling night of cup football and we’re hoping the roar of the City crowd can take us to Wembley and one step closer to a first piece of silverware this season.
Tickets are available to buy now priced from just £20 for Adults and £5 for Under 16s for supporters who meet the qualifying sales criteria.
Tickets are available to buy online at mcfc.co.uk/tickets, by telephone on +44 (0)161 444 1894 (option 1, option 1, option 2)* and in person at the Ticket Office on the first floor of the City Store at the Etihad Stadium.
Click here for full ticket information.