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Predicted Manchester City XI to play Sunderland - City to stay unchanged

Match to be played on Sunday 10th November 2013 at 14:05. Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Manchester City go into this weekend’s Premier League clash at Sunderland looking to move into the top four and close the gap on league leaders Arsenal.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men should be extremely confident because they have scored 12 goals in their last two matches while conceding just two through defence.

The City boss has a couple of selection dilemmas ahead of this game with key players picking up knocks in the 5-2 win against CSKA Moscow, which could prevent them from taking part.

Here is the side Pellegrini may go with.

GK – Costel Pantilimon

Pantilimon should retain his place in goal, which means Joe Hart will have a lot to think about heading into the international break. The Romanian goalkeeper hasn’t really done anything wrong since he came into the team.

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RB – Pablo Zabaleta

Zabaleta should retain his place at right-back. He’ll be valuable in terms of experience against a side that will be looking to raise their performance levels because of the calibre of the opposition. Zabaleta is a great player when it comes to the basics like leadership and responsibility all over the pitch.

CB – Martin Demichelis

Looks slightly more settled than when he first stepped into the side. He adds a lot of strength and presence to the City back four, which is significant while Vincent Kompany is out of the team and unavailable.

CB – Matija Nastasic

Nastasic looks as though he could grow and develop into one of the best central defenders City have had for a very long time. He reads the game well, he’s aggressive and he’s got good pace which allows the City back four to play a higher line, as they know he can cover.

LB – Gael Clichy

There doesn’t seem to be much reason to drop Clichy from the back four. He gets forward well to provide an extra outlet for the midfield on the left, which is very significant as David Silva has a tendency to tuck inside centrally.

RM – Samir Nasri

It would be very harsh on Nasri if he was dropped from the side considering how effective he’s been on the right. He offers control as well as some talent and flair on that side of the pitch. He’ll be a crucial player in keeping the Sunderland left-back pinned back.

CM – Yaya Toure

Toure is one of the most complete midfielders in the Premier League. He’s great when it comes to getting forward and helping out the attack and he has the experience of playing defensively in midfield from his Barcelona days.

See also: Manchester City 5-2 CSKA Moscow: Five interesting stats

CM – Fernandinho

Fernandinho is one of the players who suffered a slight knock in the game against CSKA. He only played one half of football and the decision to withdraw him may have been a precaution. He’ll play if he’s anything close to his normal levels of match fitness.

LM – David Silva

Silva is the other player who was withdrawn against CSKA with a slight knock. The control he offers on his side of the pitch will be very useful against a Sunderland team that will look to counter attack down the flanks so it’s important City give him every chance to be fit.

ST – Sergio Aguero

Aguero has been one of the Premier League’s inform strikers so far this season and he should line up in attack. He seems to thrive in that slightly freer role in behind another main striker, running the gaps of space which open up between the opposition midfield and attack.

ST – Alvaro Negredo

Negredo will be full of confidence following his perfect hat-trick against CSKA. He’s settled into life with Manchester City well and should be determined to maintain his momentum heading into the international break.

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