Predicted Manchester City XI to play Sunderland - Pantilimon and Clichy in

Match to be played on Sunday March 2 2014 at 14:00 GMT. Venue: Wembley, London.

Manchester City go into one of their biggest games of the season so far when they take on Sunderland in the League Cup final this week.

Jesus Navas said earlier this week that it’s very important for Manuel Pellegrini’s men to win this game as it’s a chance to put an early piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet, which will send out a strong message to City’s rivals.

Here’s the side Pellegrini could go with for the match.

GK – Costel Pantilimon

Harsh on Joe Hart considering the occasion but City’s number two has been an able deputy this season and deserves a chance to play.

RB – Pablo Zabaleta

Guarantees experience and power over on his side of the defence. He’ll stay sharp and alert when Sunderland have the ball, pressing forward to create width when he can.

CB – Vincent Kompany

One of the best centre backs in Europe at the moment and someone with a score to settle when it comes to Wembley.

CB – Martin Demichelis

Demichelis’ inclusion would be significant in terms of the confidence it gives the player and the belief Pellegrini has in him. He needs a big game.

LB – Gael Clichy

Clichy’s pace will be very important on a big, open pitch like Wembley. He needs to get forward when he can because of David Silva’s urge to move inside.

RM – Samir Nasri

Nasri can hog the right hand side effectively and he can also drift in to utilise his dangerous left foot. Expect him to do both.

CM – Yaya Toure

Toure’s ability to play different roles with pace and power in the middle of City’s team isn’t something which needs to be sold. He’s a guaranteed starter.

CM – Fernandinho

Has improved a lot from the player who first stepped into City’s midfield. A good performance in a cup final will do him the world of good.

LM – David Silva

Silva offers control and protection of possession. He always looks to move into central areas which is why it’s so important for the left-back to get forward.

ST – Edin Dzeko

With Sergio Aguero closing in on a return from injury, a match winning performance from Dzeko could keep him in the team a little bit longer.

ST – Alvaro Negredo

Deserves to start as he’s turned himself into one of City’s most important players this season.

image: © geetarchurchy

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