Every game is important and we’ve hit the stage of the season where each game is a must win – there is no margin for error. As a result, I’m fairly confident that Manuel will choose the strongest team available to him at Carrow Road, something that he confirmed in his pre-match press conference yesterday:
PELLEGRINI: “We’ll play a strong team against Norwich. Then we’ll decide about Kyiv. We’re not thinking about the next round.” #mcfc
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) March 11, 2016
It’s fairly quiet on the injury front, other than news that Yaya Toure will miss out on the trip to the Canaries due to his adoption of the “play one, miss one” approach recently. He’s out with an injury to his heel and also a doubt for Kiev. The other news is that Nasri, De Bruyne and Delph are all expected to return after the international break – if Manuel’s word is to be taken seriously, considering his lack of knowledge about who’s fit and who’s not this season.
Gael Clichy’s recent performances are worth a mention, with the Frenchman aiming to prove to Guardiola that he deserves to stay in Manchester. That, coupled with Kolarov’s poor performances, means that I believe Clichy will get the nod.
With Yaya missing the clash, Pellegrini will almost certainly want to shore up the midfield, and I expect Fernando to partner Fernandinho in the centre.
I’m going to go with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Bony dropping to the bench – his lacklustre performance against Championship side Aston Villa wouldn’t have impressed anyone.
With all things considered, here’s the starting XI and bench that I think Pellegrini will go with:
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