Samir Nasri return can spark life into Manchester City’s season

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Manchester City's hit and miss start to the campaign will be given a huge boost by the return of Frenchman Samir Nasri.

The midfielder has been out injured for over a month but will be available for this evening's League Cup clash with Newcastle United having missed his sides previous eight fixtures.

His return to fitness will provide a huge boost for manager Manuel Pellegrini, who could be forgiven for feeling like he's gained a new signing.

Nasri picked up a groin injury in late September and required surgery which has resulted in him missing over a month of action.

During that time City have fallen six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, while draws with Roma and CSKA Moscow have left their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.

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In the absence of Nasri, playmaking duties have fallen heavily on the shoulders of Spaniard David Silva.

Though Silva' ability is undoubted, City's reliance on him to break down defences on his own has been painful to watch, especially with other big name players such as Yaya Toure failing to provide the necessary assistance.

When Nasri returns to the starting line up he'll providing Pellegrini with another option to play through. Another route of attack that doesn't involve constantly looking for Silva to find pockets of space.

Who to leave out?

Nasri's availability presents his manager with one of those nice selection headaches we so often hear about at big clubs.

With Silva an almost guaranteed starter and Toure seemingly having the full faith of Pellegrini, there are just two positions up for grabs in City's likely four-man midfield.

One of those is as a holding player playing alongside Toure in the centre, a position Nasri is never going to take up, leaving just a right-sided position on offer.

While Nasri has been recovering from his injury that position has been frequently taken up by fans favourite James Milner.

The Englishman has impressed with a number of energetic displays, but that may not be enough for him to keep his place once Nasri is fully match fit.


Whatever way Pellegrini chooses to reintroduce the Frenchman into his team, he'll be hoping he can have an immediate impact on City's fortunes.

Saturday's 2-1 defeat at West Ham had presented Chelsea with a chance to go eight points clear in the title race, only for City's great rivals Manchester United to take a valuable point from the Londoners.

Despite the season being just nine-games old, City know they have to start closing the gap on Chelsea before Jose Mourinho's men begin to build an unassailable advantage.

Nasri will have the perfect chance to show what City have been missing when the club return to Premier League action on Sunday with a hugely anticipated Manchester derby.

Newcastle United
Samir Nasri
Manchester City
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