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Predicted Manchester City XI to play CSKA Moscow - One change from weekend win

Manchester City take on CSKA Moscow at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow night with kick-off at 19:45 GMT.

Manchester City will be looking to complete the double over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, after they secured an impressive 2-1 win away in Russia in the last round of fixtures.

Manuel Pellegrini has a big selection headache ahead of the game because of the impressive way his side took apart Norwich City over the weekend, which has made it even more difficult for stars to come back into the team.

Here is the eleven he may go with.

GK – Costel Pantilimon

With Joe Hart out of the side, it’s going to take mistakes from Pantilimon for the England number one to get back into the team. The Romanian has been solid since he was called upon and it’s likely he’ll continue in goal.

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RB – Pablo Zabaleta

The Argentinean defender should really enjoy this game, as it’s a chance to showcase everything which is impressive about his game. He’s very good going forward and he’s one of the most experienced players City have in their back four, which makes him important in terms of leadership and organisation.

CB – Martin Demichelis

Looked much more solid over the weekend than he did on his debut for the club. Seems to read the game very well, able to play a high and deep defensive line and also looks solid in the air.

CB – Matija Nastasic

One of the quickest players in the team, which does allow City to push slightly higher up the pitch. Home advantage means City are likely to play that way which makes Nastasic a valuable player against the CSKA Moscow counter attack, especially if other defenders are caught out of position.

LB – Aleksandar Kolarov

Kolarov will be fresh and he should be ready to play. He’s a solid player defensively and offers a good threat going forward. His delivery in terms of set pieces means potential extra chances for City if CSKA make it difficult for them to play conventionally around the pitch.

RM – Samir Nasri

The Frenchman should line up on the right side of midfield but don’t expect him to stay there. He can switch flanks, he can press out wide and he can cut inside to rain shots in on goal.

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CM – Yaya Toure

Toure was superb against Norwich over the weekend. He makes things look so easy when he has control over the middle of the pitch. He’s a daunting player to go up against whether he’s going forward with his pace and power or dropping back defensively with his anticipation and tackling.

CM – Fernandinho

He seems to be getting better all the time in a City shirt. He works well with Toure, covering for the midfielder and rotating well based on where they find themselves on the pitch. He’s linking up well with all sections of the team which helps City to move possession quickly.

LM – David Silva

Silva adds control to the City midfield. He’s an extremely comfortable player in possession, which means he can run at an opposition defence, work with the full back on the left or cut inside to get involved in central areas.

ST – Sergio Aguero

Aguero is the best striker City have. He won’t play at the top of the attack all the time, often dropping into a more attacking midfield role to get involved in the build up play. There are few other players in the Premier League you would bet your mortgage on in terms of scoring a goal at the moment from any half chance.

St – Alvaro Negredo

Negredo does the hard work in attack, which makes things slightly easier for everyone else. He’s a very good player when it comes to drifting between opposition centre backs, playing right on top of them which creates space in front of the back four.

What do you think? Would you get Hart back into the team?

image: © Free-ers

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