Club Features

Manchester City v Juventus – Champions League Q&A

September 14, 2015 - 3:20 pm

Juventus start their Champions League campaign against a rampant Manchester City who sit top of the Premier League and look in scintillating form.

Ahead of the game, we out your questions to Alex from the ‘Typical City‘ blog to get an idea of what to expect.

 

1. City have been a real domestic force for the last few years, but not so much in Europe. Is this season going to better for City?

Absolutely. This is the most complete team City have ever had. Going forward City have been deadly and in defence we have looked surprisingly solid. Not conceding a goal this season so far tells its own story. I have high hopes this season and I don’t think I’m being over optimistic to suggest that City should be topping this group. If we run into Barcelona AGAIN after that then all bets are off…

2. Who do you consider the biggest threat in groups, CL runners up Juve or double EL winners Sevilla?

Juventus are a slightly bigger threat to my mind. Your experience of recent success and general savviness should see you in second. That’s not to discount Sevilla though as they clearly know what they’re doing in Europe. But Juventus are a first class team whereas Sevilla and Gladbach are not.

3. Dzeko and Jovetic have left City for Serie A, is this for better or worse for City?

Honestly, it’s a combination of both. Jovetic wasn’t any good for us on the rare occasions he was fit. Dzeko has written his place in City history and is a much more significant loss. The Bosnian is a big game player and has shown us time and again what he’s capable of. There will be at least one stretch this season when we look back and think “wouldn’t it be nice if Dzeko was still here…”

4. Juve and City havent played each other much yet, last time it was in EL groups and ended in 2 draws. What do you expect of our next 2 encounters?

I am really looking forward to playing Juventus. Seeing them walk out at the Etihad for a Champion’s League match will be a special moment indeed. Between our two current teams I really cannot see two draws being the outcome again. I expect City will win at home and possibly at your ground. I don’t see Juventus winning both taking your current form into account compared to ours.

5. Pellegrini or Allegri?

Pellegrini is the perfect fit for City in this period of time and I wouldn’t swap him for anyone at the moment. He seems to be very in synch with the club, the players and (most of the time) the fans. In saying that I of course mean no disrespect to Allegri. The man’s achievements speak for themselves and I’m not under the illusion that he will be giving City an easy ride!

6. Best XI made with players from both teams?

I’m going to the City 4-3-3 formation, players who are fit, based on this seasons form. You and your readers will disagree with the goalkeeper at least but here we go…

Hart

Sagna – Kompany – Mangala – Kolarov/Sandro (honestly can’t decide)

Fernandinho – Pogba – Toure

Silva – Aguero (Morata if Aguero isnt fit) – Sterling

I’m not even sure if that team would make sense on the pitch but it would at the very least be a lot of fun.

7. In your opinion, whats Juve’s biggest strength and weakness ?

Previous to the start of this season I would have said your defence is the biggest strength. On their day they are very, very good. That’s not even mentioning Buffon who is apparently evergreen.

8. Who do you think is Juve’s best player ?

The easy answer here is Paul Pogba. Last season there would have been an argument for Arturo Vidal and I suspect in the near future there will be an argument for one of Dybala or Morata but for now the runaway candidate is Pogba.

9. Of all the CL groups City have been in, which did you see as the toughest ?

That’s a really difficult question because in one way or another, including this season, we have been shafted. The year we were drawn with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax was a particularly bad year. Last year’s group including Bayern and Roma was also dreadful. One year we will get an easier group…

Oddly enough the worst thing over the last few years has been getting drawn against the same teams over and over. There’s something to be said for variety which is one of the reasons I am very excited about the group this year.

10. Against an organized defence like Juve’s, how do you think City will break them down ? A moment of genius from Aguero ?

Normally I’d have presumed it might come down to Aguero doing something outrageous but to be honest we have so many options this year that we aren’t so heavily reliant on him. David Silva is our best player and has been sensational as per usual this season. Sterling has started brightly and it is clear that defenders don’t know what to do with him. De Bruyne promises more of the same. That’s just the most obvious weapons and doesn’t even consider the possibility that Toure might decide to win the game on his own.

The thing I think you will get a front row view of tomorrow is that our front players interchange constantly. Even a defence as formidable as Juventus’s will have their work cut out.

11. Do you see City as favourites for the PL this season ?

Yes. Despite large sections of our media thinking City would finish 4th or even 5th for some reason it has been clear for a while that City have a deeper, stronger squad than everyone else. Add in the summer reinforcements, the return to form of Kompany and Managala finally turning into the defender we hoped he would be and the perfect start to the season looks like more than a flash in the pan.

12. What are the key differences between this seasons City and last seasons ?

As mentioned above, Kompany is no longer playing like a Sunday League player and Mangala has settled into the team and the league. Our attacking options are the best in the Premier League by a distance and one of the best units in Europe already. When Sterling and De Bruyne are fully up to speed it is heard to see anyone stopping us from scoring.

Most crucially, Pellegrini has seemingly switched to a 4-3-3 formation which plays to the team’s strengths rather than persisting with his preferred 4-4-2 in the name of stylistic purity.

13. After so much spending, what do the fans expect from the team in the CL this season? Finalists? Champions?

I think anyone who “expects” their team to win the Champion’s League is an idiot. It’s too unpredictable and relies on too many variables. However this is the first City team I’ve looked at and can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be in the later rounds. Quarter Finals at least. Previously there has always been an obvious weakness but not this time really.

14. Do MCFC feel that their team is complete? Or are there any areas which they feel they’re still vulnerable in?

The only area there’s a potential worry at is at left back. Both Kolarov and Clichy retain the potential to have an absolute shocker completely at random. This could happen against Barcelona or in an FA Cup game against Bury. Both of them just sometimes play really really badly.

Other than that Fernando is an obvious weakness but there has been talk about how he was playing with injury all last season so we’ll see on that front…

15. Whats the most effective way to keep Aguero quiet ?

I promise I’m not just saying this, but there isn’t a tried and tested way to keep him quiet really. Sometimes he’s injured. That’s the only sure way to know he won;t have an effect on the game. He is the real deal. He is that good. Ask Bayern Munich or Barcelona for examples of that…

16. how do you utilize Bony? As a super sub or do you use him and Aguero together sometimes?

Bony is definitely not purely a super sub. He has not really got fully into the groove at City yet but there is enough evidence that when he does he will score his fair share of goals.

He’s not a direct replacement for Aguero. He is superb at drawing defenders out of position and bullying them. He is also very good at playing it into players running beyond him which is obviously a good thing bearing in mind the sort of players we have just behind the strikers. He is also useful in a 4-4-2 but that is now hopefully consigned to the bin or at least only used as a last resort.

17. Prediction for the game ?

3-1 to City. I don;t expect to get through this game without conceding at least one goal but I also don’t expect your defence to be able to handle City for 90 minutes…

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  • Avatar
    Stephen Romano September 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Fair assessment from the opposite side. I don’t blame this typical City blog for being confident; City are the deepest side in the PL and boast world class talent in every area of the pitch. The best XI for me would include Bonucci over Mangala and of course Buffon in place of Hart. Not sure I’d leave Lichty off for Sagna either. Bonucci makes it for sure though. Last term he was arguably the best centerback on the planet. His passing is unmatched by any CB in the world and he has a knack for pulling that clutch goal from out of nowhere.

    City’s attack is one of the best in the world but they do not often encounter clubs that defend as a unit like Juve is known for. The defense has struggled early on for the bianconeri and due to the turnover of some key roles compounded by injury, the squad has lacked the tactical discipline and prowess it’s become known for. Despite it’s early woes, Juventus have controlled the play in every match they have played thus far, and aside from a few momentary lapses, the squad have only lacked a touch of luck in their finishing.

    I predict two tight ties. In Manchester, City will have the clear edge based on current run of form, and personnel restrictions suffered by Juve. I still belive the Old Lady will fight to keep it close but will ultimately lose 2-1 at the Etihad. The second leg in Turn will not be straightforward for the citizens however. With key players (Marchisio, Khedira) returning from injury (presumably) remaining healthy, Juve will have plenty to say inside the fortress that is Juventus Stadium. 2-1 Juve second leg.

  • Avatar
    DutchJuve September 14, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Nice interview. Honest and realistic answers from the Man City fan.

    However, i cannot agree fully with that best XI.

    Hart or Buffon, it’s arguable. Hart can be superb and so can Buffon, so i’m not gonna judge him for deciding on Hart, just like he wouldn’t judge us for picking Buffon.

    In the defence, maybe it’s the Arsenal fan in me coming up, but Sagna over Lichtsteiner, please…. Lichtsteiner is one of the best RB’s in the world, and Sagna is not. I’m not gonna say he’s a bad player, but i would never pick him over Lichtsteiner.

    In the center, i can’t argue about Kompany as he’s an amazing player. I don’t know Mangala that well but Bonucci is the perfect CB in my opinion so he’s gotta be in it.

    Midfield and attack i agree about. David Silva should never be left out, same goes for Aguero, wish we had him as a replacement for Tevez, and Sterling has suprised me alot since he started at City.

    Midfield speaks for itself. As Juventino i always want to see Marchisio in it so i might want to change the formation for that. I’m not sure how i’d put all that in a XI though. Maybe i’d just put Marchisio instead of Fernandinho.

    Also, i see City as favorites for the PL this season, only team i can think of to challenge them is Chelsea, but with this horrible start?

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino September 15, 2015 at 11:02 am

    It’s cool to see you used so many of my questions Rav 😛
    I like the answers given too, honest and straightforward, no arrogant shit but just confidence. Ofc I don’t agree with everything xD Like choosing Hart over Buffon seems like madness to me, Hart is not even close to Buffon. My team would be 4-3-1-2 or 4-3-3 with these players
    Buffon
    Lichtsteiner Kompany Bonucci Sandro
    Pogba Marchisio Toure
    Dybala
    Morata Aguero

    • Avatar
      DutchJuve September 15, 2015 at 11:58 am

      David Silva instead of Dybala would probably be more effective for now.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino September 15, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        Possibly, Dybala is a bit of a gamble. Haven’t seen enough to judge him neutrally, but I still pick Dybala 😛 Though Silva is a great player ofc

  • Avatar
    Abdul-Sataar September 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

    City have every right to feel confident, with all that’s going on. It will be a tough call, so far as I am concerned, but I would look to Pogba and the defence having a good day. With Marchisio injured, we have a lot of work cut out for us, and I am waiting to see if Hernanes will take his role in a 3-5-2, or we will see a new face in the form of Lemina. I wouldn’t go for caution, though. It will never work!

  • Avatar
    Moderator September 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    i answered a few questions for Typical City blog to go along with the Q&A they did with us on:

    https://www.typicalcity.org/2015/09/14/inside-the-opposition-juventus-f-c/