Manchester City's big four hold key to success
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini's most important players this season
Manchester City have had quite an exhilarating time over the past few years, with an FA Cup, Premier League title and a Community Shield victory.
Their rise to power is something to be reckoned with, but here we look at the current Citizen players most crucial to their chances of success....
4. Pablo Zabaleta
Zabaleta joined City in the summer of 2008 from Espanyol after Manchester City reportedly triggered a release clause of around £6.45million. Quickly becoming a fan favourite after rejecting an offer from Juventus in favour of City - the Argentinian has become a staple in City's starting 11.
With over 125 apperances for Mancini's side, his work rate in every match he plays was enough to give him the vice-captain's armband in the absence of skipper Vincent Kompany. A solid, dependable and consistant right back with the ability to play left back as well as defensive midfielder makes him one of City's best bargains to date.
Having what could be dubbed his best season in City's colors, it's clear that was the 28-year-old unavailable for Mancini's selection, they would suffer in both defence and attack.
3. Yaya Toure
The 6ft 2in Ivorian was a major excitement for City fans when he joined on a deal rumoured to be around £24 million from Spanish giants Barcelona in 2010. A distinguished international, he soon found his feet at the Etihad Stadium - being the reason City won their first major trophy in his first season thanks to the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Stoke City in the FA Cup final.
His form over the years with City has never seemed to faulter - and this form doesn't let up when he goes on his duties for Ivory Coast, resulting in an African Footballer of the Year award in the 2011/12 season.
With little injuries to his name, and form that rarely goes out of shape, it's clear to see why the Citizens would miss his presence on the pitch, the one problem being they have to endure his absence on a regular basis thanks to the African Cup of Nations.
2. David Silva
David Silva joined City in 2010 from Valencia, a deal worth around £26 million.
His quality and skill on the pitch quickly became evident in the Premier League, cementing a place as one of the league's best midfielders. His possession-retaining qualities as well as his ability to thread passes through defences have resulted in the nickname 'Merlin' being used by his team-mates.
Finishing atop the assists chart in the 2011/12 season with 15 to his name, this only goes to back up the Spaniard's world class playmaking talents on the pitch. The stats don't lie, and it's easy to see why, if Mancini didn't have him available, Manchester City would miss a large attacking asset in his absence.
1. Vincent Kompany
Kompany has established himself as a world class center back with his time at Manchester City, which is impressive considering his repuation wasn't that great when he joined the Citizens from Hamburg in 2008 for a fee rumoured to be around £6million - making him City's best bargain to date.
The Belgians strength, vision and presence has seen him become an intergral part of Mancini's side, seeing him make 142 apperances for the club so far as well as picking up the captain's armband along the way.
Being included in the Premier League Team of the Year two years in a row [2011 and 2012], as well as winning the Premier League Player of the Year in 2012, it's evident that Kompany is a crucial part of the Citizens.
Unfortunately, a 2012/13 season plagued with a recurring knee injury has limited his playing time for Manchester City. In his absence Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott have been doing a fine job, however nobody can replace the pure talent of the Belgian skipper.