Starting team for Manchester City – With Raheem Sterling set to finally become a Man City player this week, the blue half of Manchester could be about to open the spending floodgates before the start of the season.
After the failure to retain their Premier League title and little progression on the European stage, Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping he can tweak his line-up to challenge for domestic honours as well as finally delivering in the Champions League. The former Real Madrid and Malaga manager will be keen to re-enforce his squad ahead of a big season in which he will be expected to deliver titles after last season’s trophy-less expedition. Man City are favourites to win the Premier league next season and with hundreds of sports betting sites to choose from, Gamblingsites.org makes it easy to find the right site by following these simple steps.
Joe Hart’s position as goalkeeper appears certain as he has developed into one of the top net-minders in Europe. Pellegrini’s decision to drop England’s number one back in late 2013 appears to have aided Hart. He responded magnificently to losing his place for two months during that season after high profile errors.
His determination to get back into the side was exemplified as he went 560 minutes without conceding a Premier League goal between February and March 2014 on City’s way to the title. His position was confirmed even further last year as his supreme display against Barcelona in the Champions League solidified his role in the team.
At right-back, Pablo Zabaleta is an established Argentinean international who has become a cult hero for the City supporters. His position in the side is not in question, although Bacary Sagna still remains as extra cover.
At centre-half, captain Vincent Kompany is also one of the first names on the team sheet as his presence and leadership within the side is evident as he lead the club to the 2012 and 2014 league triumphs.
His absence during the 2012/13 campaign was crucial in deciding the title race as City’s rivals across Manchester stole a march on them.
It’s as we move further across the Citizens defence that problems are encountered. Eliaquim Mangala was signed for nearly £30million from Porto last summer to ease the issues at the heart of the defence but the Frenchman struggled in his first season in the Premier League.
He made 25 league appearances as City failed in their attempt to catch Chelsea at the summit. Mangala’s lack of composure was exposed at times leading to Pellegrini favouring the aging Martin Demichelis.
The Chilean manager will look to find a settled partner for Kompany. With Mangala or the experienced legs of Demichellis not looking likely to be the answer based on last season, a new acquisition may be needed.
Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi has been reported to be a target of both Manchester giants of City and United. With the Old Trafford club preoccupied with trying to come to an agreement on Sergio Ramos, City could swoop for the highly rated 25 times capped Argentina international.
He has also stated his desire to leave Valencia which would reduce the sale price to £25million.
Further left in the defence has also been a problem for the 2012 and 2014 champions. Gael Clichy and Alexander Kolarov have been targeted in big games with flaws shown in their respective defensive abilities.
Both are decent squad players but added quality is needed at left-back. Fabio Coentrao is free to leave Real Madrid this summer as Marcelo has established a tighter grip on left-full at the Bernabeu. The Portuguese international would be available for less around £5million so won’t affect City’s FFP limitations.
After failing in their attempts to signing Fabian Delph from Aston Villa, City continue their search for a centre midfield partner for Yaya Toure who has decided to remain at the club despite interest from PSG and Inter Milan.
Fernando and fellow country man Fernandinho were exposed at times last season leading to the Sky Blues seeking a commanding midfielder. James Milner’s departure compounds their issues in the middle of the park so re-enforcements are at the top of their 61-year-old manager’s shopping list.
Paul Pogba is the most sought after player this summer with Barcelona and Real Madrid keeping tabs on the Juventus powerhouse. But City have the spending power to compete with the Spanish giants. A £60million bid may be necessary for City to acquire the elegant French midfielder.
Sterling’s £49million deal looks to ensure his place in the City starting eleven for the coming season. He will most likely fit in on either flanker. His trickery and pace will add a different dimension to the City attack that lacked incisiveness last season.
Kevin de Bruyne is also close to completing a move back to Premier League. The 24-year-old had an astonishing season in the Bundesliga last term as he netted 10 goals and 21 assists in helping Wolfsburg back in to the Champions League. He proved his big game potential too as he secured a German Cup medal with a goal in the final against Borussia Dortmund.
His goals and assists would again aid a City attack which didn’t fire on all cylinders last season. The Belgium international is expected to cost in the region of £30million.
David Silva has been one the league’s most creative number 10’s since his arrival at the Etihad in 2010 and is assured of his place in the City starting line-up. He has been a stalwart in their success over the last five years with over 200 appearances.
Up front, Sergio Aguero has been the clubs shining light for the last four seasons with 107 goals in 162 games with his position in the team not in question. With Edin Dzeko expected to depart, extra squad players at centre forward might be acquired to add extra goals to Aguero’s. Barcelona’s Pedro has become available with Chelsea and Arsenal as well as City considering a move for the Spanish forward.
Samir Nasri, Fernando, Fernandinho, Wilfried Bony and Gael Clichy add depth to a squad that will need to produce a series to team performances this season to regain their spot at the top of the tree.
City Potential Starting XI for 2015/16;
Zabaleta Kompany Otamendi Fabio Coentrao
Sterling Silva De Bruyne