Ahead of the trip to the Etihad on Saturday, TEB had a chat with Ray from City Fan TV on the season so far, thoughts ahead of the game and much more.
Q. What did you make of the game between the two sides at the Etihad earlier in the season?
The scoreline suggests it was easy enough and we were on a fantastic winning run. A couple great goals from outside the box and two stunners from John Stones. I expected you to be better defensively.
Q. How has the season been so far for City?
We’ve won one trophy, will probably win the league and are in the semi finals of the Champions League, so it’s not been too shabby! Lots of worries at the start though with injuries, no pre-season, COVID and some poor performances. People started whispering for the manager’s head but he’s shown what a quality manager he is.
Q. It must feel good with the club on the verge of regaining the Premier League title?
I still have to pinch myself that we’re winning trophies. I’ve seen some terrible football in my time supporting City and it’s just brilliant watching us right now. I hope fans and pundits give this City side the credit that deserve after breaking so many records. Money helps, that’s for sure, but you have to spend it wisely and get the team to perform.
Q. With the much talked about quadruple out of the question, does this now see the clubs best chance of winning the Champions League?
Losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup was such a massive disappointment. We didn’t do ourselves justice by fielding such an under strength team. But we understood the reasons for doing so, and we stood a better chance in the Champions League against Dortmund. When you’re in the semis and playing well, you’ve got to have a good chance of getting through to the final and going all the way. It isn’t going to be easy as PSG have some really talented players and have just eliminated champions Bayern Munich. This is our best chance of winning the Champions League as we’ve only got that to focus on now.
Q. How was your business in the January transfer window and do you have needs that have not been addressed?
We didn’t do any business in January. That’s the City way. Under Pep, we’ve only bought one player in January and that was Aymeric Laporte. City believe that it’s difficult to adapt unless you have the right mentality.
Q. Who has been the stand out player for City so far this season?
It’s really difficult to pick a stand out player as this has really been a team performance. From the rocks at the back in Dias and Stones, the surprising top goalscorer in Ilkay Gundogan, the mercurial Kevin de Bruyne, the consistent Mahrez, the re-discovered form of Bernardo, it’s been great to see. The one that’s probably stood out is Phil Foden. He is just so good and we can all see the huge improvement from last season and throughout this season. He makes us tick.
Q. What do you make of Palace this season?
I think it’s been another gritty, hard-working season for the Eagles and you should end up comfortably in mid-table again. You’ve had some noticeable results – winning at Old Trafford, putting five past West Brom only to concede seven at home to Liverpool a fortnight later!
Q. With the news of a European Super League back in the headlines, what is your view as a fan of one the clubs involved?
I never liked it and never wanted it. If it had gone ahead, it would have really put me off watching my team. I understand why clubs wanted it but it was a step too far with no relegation and protection of the old guard.
Q. Name one player from each team that you believe will be a threat to the opposition in this match.
it’s difficult not knowing who City will start with. Foden is the man for me as he is just getting better and better. He’s always had that technical ability but he’s now making better decisions which makes him a serious threat every time he gets the ball. For Palace, I think Benteke is a threat for his aerial ability. If we put out a decent line up, you won’t get too much of the ball and will need to rely on set pieces and he can score the odd goal or two.
Q. …and finally, your all important prediction?
1-1. I think it’s a great chance for Palace as City’s focus will be on the Champions League and we will field a much weakened team.