The recovery begins for Manuel Pellegrini and his band of blues - a recovery needed after a casualty plagued international break left Manchester City's already tested squad even more gaping.
The evident bad luck in City's medical department is emphasised by the Manchester derby being just little more than a week away.
The only piece of good news the Citizens can take from a torrid international trip for their key men is that they have a tester before one of their biggest games of the season.
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I am of course referring to their home tie with Bournemouth this weekend.
Even then, due to the newly-promoted coastal outfit being off to a flyer so far this season, they'll prove a tough test.
After-all, Raheem Sterling, who usually plays on the left-side, is definitely not renowned for his defensive cover.
So, it seems as if the Citizens have a choice on their hands, who can come in for the injured Gael Clichy and Aleksander Kolarov, City's only two natural left-backs. Here are their options:
1. Pablo Zabaleta
The safest option at City's disposal, the Argentinian fan favourite is well known for his versatility. Despite staying at right-back during the whole of Manuel Pellegrini's tenure so far.
With City's left-back dilemma, however, that looks like it's about to change. The most obvious option, of course, but since Zabaleta has only just come back from injury himself, Pellegrini will be worried about rushing him back into the fold.
2. Eliaqium Mangala
Another great contender, Mangala played in the full-back role during his time at Porto - plus, with the Frenchman's and Nicolas Otamendi's understanding from their playing days together - it's definitely a good choice. Especially given Mangala's current fitness levels.
3. Pablo Maffeo
A long shot, but a shot nevertheless. 18-year-old Maffeo joined City's EDS (Elite Development squad) from Barcelona's La Masia Academy and has since impressed in the youth team with his dogged defending.
The second Pablo in City's squad has even earned a few call ups to the senior bench so far this campaign. Could we be seeing another youth debut on Saturday?
Who do you think should start at left-back for City in the Manchester derby? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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