Will City persist with Dzeko or give Negredo a start?

Manuel Pellegrini has four top-class strikers at his disposal, but the Spaniard is pushing for inclusion after an impressive start to life in England.

Edin Dzeko was overlooked so many times under Roberto Mancini due to the need to facilitate players with a bigger reputation and ego – Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli.

However, with these two forwards leaving along with Mancini, the Bosnian finally has a chance to nail down a regular starting position in the City line-up. Dzeko’s contribution to City has often been overlooked in the past, but the eastern European marksman has scored some very important goals for the club and impressed consistently when given a chance to play.

However, out with the old, in with the new. Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic have been signed as the replacements for Dzeko’s former team-mates, with the extreme competition for places in City’s attack continuing. The former Wolfsburg man had seemingly finally taken his chance, starting all three Premier League games so far this season, but he needs to score consistently or he will find himself back on the bench.

Sergio Aguero seems like an assured starter when fit and available, as the Argentine suits Pellegrini’s style of play. The former Atletico Madrid attacker can drop deep to pick the ball up and link-in with others or play through the middle as a central striker. He is seemingly the most rounded of the four players, and will likely start more games than he sits out.

Dzeko has been Aguero’s partner so far this term, but he will face a challenge to keep it that way. Negredo has looked razor sharp since his summer move from Sevilla, netting twice in three substitute appearances so far. He has also scored recently for Spain in World Cup qualifying, again from the bench, and looks like the man in form of the four options available to Pellegrini. In his last eight games for City, Spain and formerly Sevilla, Negredo has bagged nine goals.

Jovetic comes to England with a stellar reputation after impressing in Serie A with Fiorentina, and could well be the wildcard of the four. The Montenegrin has yet to make his debut due to injury, and was on the bench for City against Hull in their last outing. Potentially not ready to start just yet, but Jovetic will be another contender for a starting berth in the next fortnight.

Saturday’s game against Stoke will be no walk in the park for City, with a motivated host sure to put them under pressure. With a tight game expected, the odd goal could well be enough to seal victory. As such Pellegrini will have to pick wisely.

Should City persist with Dzeko? Or will the in-form Negredo get his chance to start?

images: © ulicar, © geetarchurchy

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch