Manchester City face a tricky start to the Champions League, travelling away to the Czech Republic to face Viktoria Plzen.
Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for a big reaction from his side following a disappointing 0-0 draw away at Stoke City, especially with the club’s next Premier League game against Manchester United.
City are boosted by the news captain Vincent Kompany will be in the squad but whether he's fit enough to start is debatable.
Here is the side Pellegrini may go with ahead of his first Champions League match in charge of the club.
GK – Joe Hart
There’s no reason to drop Hart who continues to improve, maintaining levels of consistency following questions over whether he was producing his best form for the club. Hart’s all round game is solid and he ticks every box as far as the boss should be concerned.
RB – Pablo Zabaleta
Zabaleta has been one of the most consistent right backs in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons and he should keep his place. He offers strength and experience in the back four as well as a good option, getting forward and creating width down the right.
CB – Joleon Lescott
Lescott has to come into the side instead of Javi Garcia. He’s a far more experienced player in that centre back role and he has a point to prove ahead of Vincent Kompany’s imminent return to the team.
CB – Matija Nastasic
Nastasic didn’t look at his best against Stoke City but he’s only just come back into the side. He offers pace and good decision making in the back four. He’s also very good on the ball which is important because City will look to play the ball out from the back where possible.
LB – Aleksandar Kolarov
Kolarov offers great pace down the left whether he’s attacking or tracking back, trying to contain a talented winger. He’s tactically very aware, able to tuck inside by the centre back or press players out wide, without risking the overall shape of City’s back four.
RM – James Milner
There are more flamboyant players who could play on the right side of midfield but Milner offers some extra protection to Zabaleta and a player who can fill in when he’s caught out of possession. He’s also god enough to cut inside and link up with the rest of the midfield.
CM – Yaya Toure
Toure is one of the most complete central midfielders that City have available. He’s experienced as a holding player and he also offers an obvious threat going forward. He’s also shown that he can be very effective from set pieces so far this season.
CM – Fernandinho
Fernandinho should come back into the midfield in place of Jack Rodwell. Fernandinho is yet to produce some of his best form for City this season but he’s similarly versatile to Toure in the respect that he can weigh in at both ends of the pitch which is important.
LM – Samir Nasri
David Silva is unlikely to be risked ahead of the Manchester derby which means Nasri should continue at left midfield. It’s not his best position but he has to find a way to be effective. He’ll have to resist the urge to dart inside at times to ensure City have a little bit of width.
ST – Sergio Aguero
Aguero will start this match because of what he offers in the opponent’s defensive third. He can drop off or play on the very shoulder of the defence. His pace makes him a threat but he’s also good enough to control possession and work with the midfield. His threats are endless.
ST – Edin Dzeko
Expect to see Dzeko come back into the side and play at the very top of the attack. Aerially he offers an option at both ends of the pitch but he also provides an outlet for the defence if they need to hit the ball long, with City counter attacking following spells of pressure Plzen out together.
What do you think? Should Lescott come back in? Did Jovetic or Negredo do enough at the weekend to keep their places?
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