View on the Opposition - Manchester City

Lifelong Manchester City fan Mark Hartley lifts the lid on Saturday’s opponents
Lifelong Manchester City fan Mark Hartley lifts the lid on Saturday’s opponents

Mark, City have had a great start to the season, what have you made of the first five games?

"It’s been an excellent start! Five wins out of five, and still to concede, we couldn’t have dreamt of a better start. Our performances have mainly been brilliant, especially against Chelsea.

"With City, you never know what to expect, and there was some private anxiousness over the summer. Full credit to Manuel Pellegrini, he’s had his doubters but he’s stuck to his beliefs and he’s being rewarded."

Once again, City spent big in the summer, how have the new signings fared?

"It’s still early days but there’s certainly reason for optimism. Raheem Sterling is clearly a class player and has settled in well. I think people forget how young he is, it’s scary to think how good he could be.

We’ve only seen glimpses of Kevin De Bruyne but he’s certainly got a big reputation. He fills a role "that we desperately need to fill, so despite the big bucks we spent, I’m confident he’ll be a good addition. Likewise we haven’t seen enough of Nicolas Otamendi or Fabien Delph." 
What are Cities’ priorities this season?

"I think the winning the League will be the main focus but, as everyone has highlighted, we’d like an improvement in Europe. We’ve had very tough draws recently, and this season is no different!

"There’s a feeling our squad should be capable to compete on numerous fronts. A serious league challenge, progression to the knock out stages of the Champions League and a FA Cup run is more than realistic."

What have you made of West Ham this season?

"I haven’t seen them live yet but their results have certainly been eye-catching. Dimitri Payet certainly looks a player and I like Slaven Bilic, he has that presence about him so I hope he does well. West Ham seem to have bought pretty well – Victor Moses on loan is a good bit of business.

"On their day they’re a good side and will work hard but they haven’t fared too well on the Blue side of Manchester and I don’t expect that to change on Saturday."

What is your prediction for Saturday’s score?

"City will win, but I think it’ll be a tighter contest than previous years. I’ll say City to win 2-1, but if we find our grove then it could be more one sided. Pellegrini will want a reaction to the Juventus’ defeat, so he won’t pull any punches."