Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. September 4, 2024
Barclays Premier League
Manchester City (1-0-1, 3 points, 11th) vs. Dover (1-0-1, 3 points, 13th)
Man City Stadium, Manchester, UK
Betting Odds: Manchester City: Evens (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Dover: 11-5
Past Meetings: 4W 2D 8L
We just beat City a few weeks ago in the Community Shield at Wembley but I’m guessing they will be much tougher today at home, with a full strength squad. Like us, they just suffered a shock loss, dropping a 1-0 decision to Aston Villa. I expect Jelle Hoegee to be playing today up front and he is very dangerous.
We’ll go with our main starting lineup but we’ll stick with Ingo Wilke in goal today. Renato Gaucho also returns to the starting lineup after missing a couple weeks due to injury. We are also going to play a counter attacking style - we’ll likely need to play a bit close to the vest against these guys at the Etihad. Our two major offseason signings, MC Benedikt Raab and ST Manuel Lugo won’t even dress today. They are still struggling to settle in and I’ll feed them reserves games and lower profile games as a means of getting used to English football. This game doesn’t qualify!
Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - Renato Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, Jose, G. Bolis
S - P. Moses, Chiquinho
Bench - Rafinha, S. Nasri, A. Rocca, E. Harvey, G. Allan, M. Pedersen, A. Broomes
Like many of our recent opponents, City play a 4-2-3-1 formation and have Hoegee up front. Antonio is their goalkeeper. Lets play well for the travelling support today.
HALFTIME - Well, I guess this is what we want, as we’re scoreless through 45 minutes and giving up LOADS of possession once again. I simply don’t understand why our talented team can’t hold the ball. City have an incredible 63% of possession in that half and outshoot us 9-9 (5-1 on target). We need to be better than this. I tell the team they can win this game!
67’ - Neil Cairney has NOT been sharp so far this season and I pull him in favour of Andrea Rocca.
75’ - Another player not looking sharp to start is last year’s stalwart Arsene Bamba. I pull him in favour of Mads Pedersen.
89’ - I remember a graphic upon advancing through a recent day stating that we have gone over 40 games in a row with at least one goal in Premier League play. I’m resigned to the fact that the streak is going to end when we hit on a rare counter attack in this game, with Paul Moses storming down field on a two-on-one with Chiquinho. The defender shades towards Moses, opening up a passing lane and he makes the perfect feed to his strike partner. Chiquinho is in on goal, makes a little move then left foots the ball past Antonio and it’s IN!!! WOOO! DOVER GOAL 1-0
90’+1 - With three extra minutes of injury time, we try to milk it a bit by bringing in Emmerson Harvey for Jose.
That’s it! Big early season win!
Manchester City 0 - 1 Dover
Goals - Chiquinho (7.4)
Assists - Paul Moses (7.3)
Man of the Match - Capitao (Manchester City DR - 7.9)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.1), Rayane Hamon (7.5), Renato Gaucho (7.3)
Attendance - 63,634
City hold 59% of the ball but we end up playing a bit better in the second half and edge them in shots 20-19 (7-8 on target). Cairney (6.1) wasn’t good but I was impressed with our defence today, as we really shut down the fast and shifty Jelle Hoegee. He was a non-factor. Renato Gaucho’s absence in the past couple of weeks obviously was a factor in our poor play. It’s also great to see Chiquinho on a good run of form to start the year after a very inconsistent season last year.
-- After having 21 players initially called up by their respective countries, we get six more added as the international break begins, bringing our total allotment to 27 players! Nice!
-- Gaining youth caps are Emerson (Brazil U20 - four assists in two games!), Andy Broomes (England U21- four goals in two games!), Marcel Quade (Austria U21 - one assist in two games), Neil Evans (England U19 - one goal), Felix Hernandez (France U21), Hans Briers (Belgium U21), Alberto Velazquez (Mexico U20 - one goal), Vlastimil Silhavy (Czech Republic U21) and Steven Potter (England U20).
-- Gaining senior caps are Lyubomir Kunchev (Bulgaria), Arsene Bamba (Ivory Coast - one assist), Neil Cairney (Scotland - one goal in two games), Graham Allan (Scotland - one goal in two games), Saber Nasri (Tunisia), Salim Loucif (Algeria), Mwemere Mutesa (Rwanda), Mads Pedersen (Denmark - one goal in two games), Gianluca Bolis (Italy - one assist), Paul Moses (England - three goals in two games), Emmerson Harvey (England), Chiquinho (Belgium - two goals in two games), Jose (Brazil - one assist) and Manuel Perez (Mexico).
-- Emmerson Harvey’s cap for England was his first international senior level appearance and he gives an emotional interview, thanking me for helping his development. I also notice that they call Harvey a “wonderkid”, the first time I’ve ever seen him with that designation!!! WOO! That gives us four wonderkids at Dover, including Neil Cairney, Paul Moses and Rafinha. It’s also great seeing Gianluca Bolis finally get another cap for Italy, his fourth senior cap and first in quite some time. He’s been very good so far this season, a much better start for him. In all, 23 of the 27 players we sent on International duty ended up gaining caps.
Dover U18 Update
-- With a much weaker squad than usual due to the international break, our U18s lose 2-1 to Wycombe, with Freddie Laird scoring our only goal.
Champions League Title Odds
-- Barcelona are made 4-1 favourites to capture this year’s Champions League title. Man United are at 5-1, Sampdoria are at 15-2, Man City are at 8-1, Real Madrid are 9-1 and Atletico Madrid are at 10-1. We are just behind at 12-1 to repeat.
Dover Injury Update
-- Zoltan Bardi is our only injury and he will miss another 6-8 weeks with a separated shoulder.
Dover Reserves Team Update
-- We get two goals from Manuel Lugo and U18 player Ben Patterson, along with singles from Benedikt Raab and Steven Miller in a 6-0 whitewash over Watford’s Reserves. Adam Hyde had two assists and we had four players (Raab, Hyde, Patterson and Lugo) with ratings over 9.2!
-- We face newly promoted Derby County in Premier League action at Crabble Athletic Ground, as we hope to put together a better performance this time in front of our home supporters.