Once again it appears that this match will not be televised in the United States. That’s extremely disappointing because it is also the debut for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who should not only get the start, but should do so alongside Messi, who is returning from injury as well.
August 19 is also World Humanitarian Day, so keep that in mind while watching our boys play in their Més shirts. Awesomeness. I guess that means ManCity will wear their black away jerseys.
Our squad is currently a bit thin thanks Iniesta and Márquez being injured and not expected to return until the first league game (meaning they’ll miss not only the Gamper, but also the 2nd leg of the SuperCop and the UEFA Super Cup); also doubtful for tomorrow are Henry and Abidal, who trained away from the group to work on their specific injuries. I’m assuming that Henry will not risked and that either Pedro! or Bojan will take his place in the starting lineup tomorrow. Abidal, too, could sit this one out, meaning that if anyone wanted to see Alves and Maxwell on the same field, this might be the perfect opportunity to do so. Without Henry’s defense, however, that might not be the best option (thought it might be the only option), especially considering Manchester City’s recent investment in their front, uh, 12.
Not that I’m worried about anything other than a Yaya-on-Kolo collision causing a mega earthquake that could, potentially, kill us all by converting all matter into anti-matter in a brilliant, epic, and actually quite beautiful moment. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that.*
I know admittedly little about Manchester City other than what is published in the tabloids, which, as we all know from perusing EMD, Sport, and Marca (or the badly interpreted Goal.com versions of those stories), there is a world of difference between what is said in newspapers and what is really happening in a club. There are new additions to their squad, of course, and they’re coming off a 2-0 away win in their EPL debut against Blackburn Rovers.
The names they have are a list of who isn’t quite who in the world of football, but it’s impressive nonetheless: Robinho, Gareth Barry, Emmanuel Adebayor, SWP, Carlos Tevez. There are others, of course (Stephen Ireland and Craig Bellamy are probably reading this wondering what my problem is). I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they’ll come out firing on all cylinders. And they’re going to The Great Wall of Yaya, whose midget assassins will tear asunder all that has been built at MCFC over the summer. We do not take prisoners and we do not give mercy. We are FCB and som un and this is the Gamper.
Remember the last Gamper? 2-1, suckas, thanks to El Capitan coming through in the clutch. That was a goal made from the heart and soul that is somewhere within the sinews and hair that make up Carles Puyol (isn’t he all heart and soul, though? Doesn’t he embody that old adage about working hard for your dreams? Or is the only adage he listens to the one that goes “Carles Puyol will rip your heart from your chest if you dare get near his goal”?). This game isn’t so much a big test as an awesome test. I may be belittling them, but ManCity isn’t a joke and we’re going to have to play well to beat them. I think we will, though, and I think we’ll do so with or without Henry and Abidal.
How well can Pedro! and/or Banjo Crickets play with Ibracadabra? For that matter, how well can Messi and Xavi play with him? There will be some misfires, there will be some miscommunication, but I agree with my main man, the Kxevin, that if Ibrahimovic gets 45 minutes, he scores. ManCity doesn’t have anything to prove, really, and they’re not going to play too hard, I wouldn’t think, but it won’t be a walk in the park. It’s just that we’re going to be targeting Ibra so that he can get on the sheet and get the crowd rockin’ and rollin’, Mexican wavin’, and chantin’.
Our lineup: Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Maxwell, Xavi, The Yaya, Keita, Bojan, Ibrahimovic, Messi.
Official Prediction: 2-1, with goals from Ibra and our super sub Pedro!. Just realize that this is going to be a strange game for us as we try to include a new player as well as Maxwell on the left. But, um, yeah, do you think ManCity is practicing with a ball on their field? I think that would be unfair of their coach, since they won’t see it during the game. Pwnd.
* If you eat anti-pasta and then pasta, have you eaten at all?
Local/Spanish time: 10pm
New York/EST: 4pm
Chicago/CST/Mexico City: 3pm
San Diego: 1pm
Sydney, Australia: 6am, August 20
Singapore: 4am, Thursday, August 20
India: 1:30am, Thursday, August 20
Saudi Arabia/Kuwait/Jordan: 11pm
If you can make a case for somewhere else being included, please let me know, but for the most part, this list should allow you to do the additions or subtractions more easily.