Manchester City predicted XI vs Crystal Palace

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Manchester City take on Crystal Palace tomorrow amidst an injury crisis that has left them without a single senior striker fit.

Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko have all picked up injuries in recent weeks, with the latter being forced out of City's previous game after injuring himself during the warm up.

In their absence it was youngster Jose Angel Pozo who was charged with leading the line during the 1-0 win over Leicester, but manager Manuel Pellegrini has discussed the idea of utilising a false nine in the coming weeks.

Pellegrini must now decide which of his many attacking midfielders will be best suited to the role, having ruled out Pozo by telling reporters: "Pozo is not a striker. We must try to find another way to play because our strikers will be out for at least one month more."

With all three senior strikers unavailable, Pellegrini may now be regretting his decision to let Alvaro Negredo join Valencia on the last day of the summer transfer window.

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False nine

In the absence of a striker, it appears City will line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with somebody forced to act as a deep-lying forward.

Assessing his options, Pellegrini said: "We will work this week with the players to see who can play best in that position.

"It can be (David) Silva, it can be (Samir) Nasri, it can be (James) Milner. We must decide which is the best one. I always said James is a very useful player for the squad.

"At some moments he wants to play more but wherever he plays he is important. That is why we’ve kept him here."

Given Nasri and Silva appear to be Pellegrini's first choice wingers, it could b the versatile Milner who's given the nod.

Midfield goals

With City likely to be devoid of a fit striker until the New Year they will need goals from midfield, and in Frank Lampard they have the perfect man.

Lampard's strike against Leceister drew him level with Thierry Henry as the Premier League's joint fourth highest ever goalscorer on 145, making him by far and away the highest scoring midfielder.

The absence of a fit striker make his goals vital, and that's likely to earn him a second consecutive start in central midfield.

Alongside him, Yaya Toure will need to replicate the form that saw him bag 20 league goals last year, while Fernando will simply be asked to protect the back four.


The Brazilian will be sitting in front of a defence that has also been affected by injury, with skipper Vincent Kompany missing with a hamstring complaint.

His gap will be filled by Martin Demichelis, who will partner Eliaquim Mangala at the heart of the defence.

Pablo Zabaleta will hope to come back in at right-back, while Gael Clichy should keep his place on the left.

Manchester City - Predicted Line Up

Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Clichy; Lampard, Fernando, Toure; Silva, Milner, Nasri.

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James Milner
Crystal Palace
Manchester City
Premier League

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