City’s injury woes continue. Jesus Navas pulled his hamstring against Sunderland, leaving Manuel Pellegrini with only two attacking midfielders to choose from. This is particularly problematic as his preferred formation this season has been 4-2-3-1, with attacking midfielders behind the striker. Given his limited options, Pellegrini has to choose between playing Kelechi + Aguero again, which I’d suggest is unlikely – or playing three central midfielders, with Toure as the most advanced.
City have just 14 senior players available at the moment, with a brutal run of fixtures coming up.
— City Watch (@City_Watch) February 5, 2016
Vincent Kompany has returned to training, which is fantastic news, but he isn’t fit enough yet for the bench. However, Fabian Delph is expected to recover from his slight calf problem.
Given the severe depletion to the squad because of injuries, Brandon Barker and Bersant Celina are again expected to take-up a place on the bench.
In truth, Pellegrini is pretty hamstrung with regards his choices. The absence of Jesus Navas has really unsettled the balance of the squad.
Having said all that, I expect Pellegrini to go for a 4-2-3-1, with Fernando and Fernandinho anchoring behind Toure, in the #10. Silva and Sterling will take-up a place on the wings, and Sergio Aguero will of course start in attack.
I’m a huge fan of Kelechi Iheanacho; I think he has everything it takes to go to the very, very top. But I’m not sure this is the best environment to throw him into, and I think is a view that Pellegrini will share. Here’s the team I think Pellegrini will go for:
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