Manchester City predicted XI to face Everton

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Not too long ago we were talking about Manchester City's season being in turmoil, but on Saturday the Premier League leaders host Everton on the back of a run of four straight victories.

Following a six game streak that yielded just one win, albeit it in the Manchester derby, City were languishing in third in the table while their Champions League dreams looked all but over.

However, Manuel Pellegrini's team have turned things around with three straight league wins and a famous Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.

While Sergio Aguero has been amongst the goals at one end, a defence marshalled by Vincent Kompany has struggled to keep them out at the other, with the four-game run producing just one clean sheet.

Pellegrini's hopes of achieving another shut out against Roberto Martinez' side will be dented by the absence of his reliable skipper.

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Missing men

Kompany is still nursing the hamstring injury which forced City to play with just nine men in the final moments of their weekend victory over Southampton.

The centre-back missed Wednesday's visit to Sunderland but Pellegrini told reporters he could possibly be back for next week's Champions League showdown with Roma.

The City boss said: "It’s very difficult, because I can’t say without the opinion of the doctor how his injury will improve in the next few days.

“It depends on the degree of the muscle injury he has, so it is difficult to know if he can play against Roma."

While Kompany has been ruled out of the weekend trip to Everton, David Silva could make his long awaited return from a knee injury, although the trip to Rome on Tuesday seems more realistic after Pellegrini said: "David is improving and we will see on Thursday if he can be on the squad list. I am not sure, but I think it will be difficult for him at this moment.”

Midfield revival

Despite having been without Silva for the last seven games, Pellegrini will take great joy from the recent performances of one of his midfielders.

Fernandinho has partnered Yaya Toure in central midfield for the last two games and performed exceptionally in both after finally displacing summer arrival Fernando.

His form should see him keep his place against Everton, with Toure again likely to be the benefactor of his tireless running in central midfield.


Another man in fine form is the much talked about Aguero, who took his Premier League tally to 14 with Tuesday's double against Sunderland.

His performances have left Stevan Jovetic operating from a wide left position and the Montenegro man has scored two in his last three Premier League outings.

With no word on Edin Dzeko's injury recovery, except the diminutive duo to be charged with testing Everton's leaky defence.

Defensive decisions

If the form of his attacking players is making Pellegrini's job easy, the same cannot be said of his central defenders.

Eliaquim Mangala returns from suspension for the visit of Everton but such has been his inconsistent start to the season, Pellegrini could be forgiven for sticking with rookie Dedryck Boyata over a £32million signing, although that's unlikely to happen.

In Kompany's absence Martin Demichelis will provide the experience at centre-back, while Gael Clichy has made the left-back spot his own in the absence of injured Aleksandar Kolarov.

Predicted Line-up

Hart; Zabaleta, Mangala, Demichelis, Clichy; Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri, Jovetic; Aguero

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Manchester City
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