Predicted Manchester City XI to play Aston Villa

Manchester City go into this weekend’s clash against Aston Villa in superb form following a 5-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic in the League Cup.

City seem to have got over an apparent blip in form securing a brilliant win in the Manchester derby before a solid win in the League Cup against the side that beat them to the FA Cup last season.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini has some tough decisions to make this weekend and he could make changes to the side that beat United with a daunting tie against Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week.

Here is the side he may go with.

GK – Joe Hart

Hart could nothing about the goal City conceded in the Manchester derby, the fact he got a hand on it was amazing. He’s the undoubted number one for the club and will continue in goal.

RB – Pablo Zabaleta

The temptation to slot Micah Richards into this position will be very high as he played well against Wigan but Zabaleta has been the stand out performer at right-back over the last couple of seasons.

CB – Vincent Kompany

Kompany will be fresh after missing the match against Wigan and he should slot straight back into the defence. His leadership will be crucial against an Aston Villa side, which is very efficient on the counter attack.

CB – Matija Nastasic

Pellegrini will want Nastasic and Kompany to play together as much as possible if that’s the main centre back pairing he’s going to be using at the club. Nastasic is quick enough to allow City to play a higher line in this game.

LB – Gael Clichy

One change Pellegrini may consider from the side that beat Manchester United is starting Gael Clichy. Clichy offers pace going forward and his defensive game has come on leaps and bounds. He too allows City to play a higher line.

RM – Jesus Navas

Navas offers width and support to Zabaleta when he gets up the pitch from right-back. Navas is just as effective going down the line as he is coming inside, which means Villa will have to be wary of him.

Were City that good or were United that bad?

CM – Yaya Toure

Toure is having one of the best spells of his City career at the moment. His movement in the middle of the pitch and the threat he’s offering from dead ball situations is world class.

CM – Fernandinho

Fernandinho is one of the players under pressure considering the imminent return of David Silva. Pellegrini will be looking for an exceptional performance as he considers who to drop for the Spaniard.

LM – Samir Nasri

Nasri is the other player under pressure because he currently holds Silva’s left midfield position. Nasri was solid against Manchester United and the fact he wasn’t in the squad to play Wigan suggests Pellegrini was holding him back for this game.

ST – Sergio Aguero

Aguero will continue in behind the main striker. His movement and ability to ghost into the box make him very difficult to pick up and mark. He can score goals from numerous positions.

ST – Edin Dzeko

Dzeko had a solid 80 minutes against Wigan and bagged a goal. He has every right to start this match, which allows Pellegrini to hold back Alvaro Negredo for the Bayern Munich clash.

What do you think? Should it just be the same eleven that started against United?

images: © ulicar, © mafue

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