Man City line-up v Arsenal: A new midfield combination to emerge?

first_imgPremier League champions Manchester City have endured a mixed pre-season with three wins and three losses.And now the club take on Arsenal in the Community Shield, which is live on talkSPORT.City boss Manuel Pellegrini, speaking ahead of the Wembley clash, confirmed that players who have trained this week would not feature against the Gunners.This rules out Argentina World Cup trio Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis, Brazilian Fernandinho, club captain and Belgium international Vincent Kompany as well as new signings Bacary Sagna, and Frank Lampard.With Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo also out with a broken foot, Pellegrini should be wary of an Arsenal side seeking to avenge their humiliating 6-3 thrashing against his weakened side last season.City have arguably the league’s strongest squad, with two players per position, and will have to experiment with those available. Possible Man City line-up: 1 Manuel Pellegrini may experiment with his side against Arsenal GoalkeeperPellegrini wasn’t afraid to drop England No1 Joe Hart last season and could drop him again here to give new signing Willy Caballero his first taste of English football.DefenceWith three of the first choice back four (Kompany, Demichelis and Zabaleta) out of contention, Pellegrini could name an unchanged backline from the pre-season loss to Olympiakos. That would mean former Gunner Gael Clichy at right-back, Karim Rekik and Dedryck Boyata in central defence, and Aleksandar Kolarov at left-back. Clichy and Kolarov bolstered City’s attack down the wing against the Greek side, but left the goal horribly exposed – they will need to get the balance right against the Gunners’ quick wingers. Micah Richards played himself out of contention with an awful penalty miss in the same game.MidfieldThankfully for Pellegrini, the Ivory Coast didn’t get past the World Cup group stage, which means Yaya Toure is fit and ready to be unleashed. The powerful midfielder steamrolls past those in his path and is dangerous from set pieces. New signing Fernando can cover for Toure, his idol, when he decides to bomb forward. Another former Arsenal player, Samir Nasri, will be raring to go down the left after being left out of France’s World Cup Squad and David Silva can banish his own World Cup nightmare with Spain on the right flank. Such creativity and ball retention will complement Toure’s and striker Edin Dzeko’s more direct approach.AttackPellegrini has been forced into fielding his super subs, with Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic coming in for Aguero and Negredo. Jovetic, City’s best pre-season performer, deserves his place after his goal scoring frenzy. Dzeko will want to put a disappointing first World Cup appearance behind him and cement a place in the first team during Negredo’s injury layoff.Arsenal v Man City is live on talkSPORT at 3pm on Sunday 10 August. Check out how the Gunners may line up by clicking here. 1last_img read more