I'm more than willing to be proved wrong but I have a bad feeling about the game against Boro in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. The reasoning is simple. Everything points to a City win and football is very rarely that simple, especially in the FA Cup.
Lets start with City. The club has a new manager with an incredible Cup pedigree. Whilst the Italian Cup is a little different, the big clubs come in at the Quarter Final stage, winning the Cup as a manager with three different teams is quite an accomplishment. In many ways this is more impressive than winning the league at Inter due to the various circumstances involved with those latter triumphs. The big 3 of Italian football have only won the Italian Cup five times in the past 20 years and Mancini did it twice with Inter.
Next City have won their first two games under the new manager. The media and fans are pointing towards the consecutive clean sheets as proof that the defensive frailties are being addressed.
Tevez is in fine form and scoring goals.
Conversely Middlesbrough have an injury crisis with numerous first team players said to be missing or not fully fit. I've seen conflicting reports about the fitness of Adam Johnson who is a very useful player.
Gordon Strachan has been something of a disaster since Middlesbrough decided that they could save money by keeping the same monogrammed kit for the manager and sent Gareth Southgate packing. One win in five home ties is an appalling record.
And therefore any reasonable person would add that all together and say a comfortable City victory by at least two goals. I hope this is the case.
However, City have numerous players injured and Toure has left for the African Nations Cup leaving a make shift central partnership of Kompany and Richards. Meanwhile Garrido is penciled in as the starting left back, a player who is great going forward more as a wing back but suffers on the defensive end.
The match is away and Robinho has been worryingly inept in such contests. Boro is a hard place to play. Strachan has only one recognized forward available with all of the club's injuries; Marcus Bent extending his loan for another two weeks. That sounds good although what worries me is if the Boro manager plays someone like 16 year old Luke Williams who is the club's top prospect and adept at taking on full backs. Pre match chatter is that Strachan will not play the youngster and I really hope that is true as I believe he would be a challenge for Garrido.
Again I hope I am spectacularly wrong on this. It's just that my "cupset" detector is on high.