Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for his Manchester City side to make a title statement against Chelsea at the weekend.
They’ll have to do it without Vincent Kompany however, with the Belgian international set to miss out at Stamford Bridge.
Joe Hart is fit, and should have received a major confidence boost following his match-winning save against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in midweek.
The Citizens struggled in defence however, and Joleon Lescott will expect a recall alongside Mateja Nastasic in response. Pablo Zabaleta will start at right-back, with Gael Clichy likely to return for the league clash.
Yaya Toure and Fernandinho have been at the Manchester City core this season, and will again offer a platform for the attacking players to build upon.
If Pellegrini opts to go with just one striker, then David Silva, Samir Nasri and James Milner are likely starters, although Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo are in contention if the Chilean mixes his formation.
The Spanish striker would be unlucky to start on the bench if the lone frontman is employed, but Sergio Aguero is a player who simply can’t be left out of the side in these big games.
Manchester City predicted starting XI v Chelsea:
Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy; Yaya Toure, Fernandinho; Milner, Silva, Nasri; Aguero.
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