Manuel Pellegrini should consider dropping Eliaquim Mangala

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Having produced a near faultless display against Chelsea on his Manchester City debut, Eliaquim Mangala's performance against Hull has left Manuel Pellegrini with a big decision to make ahead of tonight's clash with Roma.

The ease with which Mangala coped with Chelsea's forward line on his first outing in a City shirt suggested he would be a regular for Pellegrini this season, but the good work may have been undone after a disastrous display at Hull.

With City leading 2-0 the Frenchman done his best to spoil a solid start. First he put through his own net with a spectacular diving header before giving away a penalty that Abel Hernandez converted to draw Hull level at 2-2.

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While it may seem harsh to drop the young defender after one poor display, Pellegrini knows his side must be solid at the back if they're to pick up a first Champions League win of the season.

Roma challenge

After their narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich on the opening night, City now face a Roma side with a perfect record at home and in Europe this season.

Rudi Garcia's side have won their opening five Serie A fixtures and their 5-1 demolition of CSKA Moscow in the Champions League suggested they have what it takes to compete with the likes of City and Bayern.

A 2-0 win over Verona at the weekend took their tally to 12 goals from six games thus far, and with eight different players having already found the net they clearly possess an attacking threat from all angles.


Should Mangala be taken out of the firing line by Pellegrini, he'll likely be replaced by the experienced Argentine Martin Demichelis.

Despite coming in for criticism at the start of his City career, the former Malaga defender impressed in the end of season run in, and started this season at the heart of the defence.

Demichelis is one of few players in the City squad to have gone far in the Champions League, having reached the final with Bayern Munich in 2010, and that experience could make him the favourite to partner Vincent Kompany in what will be a tough game.


The idea of dropping Mangala after one poor display perhaps seem harsh, especially considering the patience he showed in waiting for his City debut.

Pellegrini may also be cautious of what it could do to his confidence should he be dropped after just three starts. The French defender clearly has potential and the odd mistake is to be expected from a man adjusting to the rigors of Premier League football.

However, in a results based industry Pellegrini must be ruthless. If he believes replacing Mangala with Demichelis gives his side the best chance of picking up three points then that's what he must do.

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Vincent Kompany
UEFA Champions League
Manchester City
AS Roma

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