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First Team News

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Boro v Man City:Talking Points

CALL ON ME: Gabriel Jesus celebrates his winner against Swansea

CALL ON ME: Gabriel Jesus celebrates his winner against Swansea

Striker formation, returning stars and Middlesbrough motivation all feature in our hot topics ahead of the Riverside trip.

1 Gabriel from the get-go?

Sparks of anticipation crackled round the Etihad Stadium as soon as Gabriel Jesus stepped out to warm up on the touchline against United. He almost had an instant impact only for his headed 'goal' to be disallowed for offside but although the breakthrough didn't come, boss Pep Guardiola has a potent attacking weapon to call upon against Boro. Will the manager pair Jesus with 30-goal forward Sergio Aguero? Or will he opt to give the Argentinian forward a rest after an intense run of games and hand the striking burden to Jesus. We'll know at 1.05pm on Sunday.

2 Leading from the back

Vincent Kompany was outstanding against young Marcus Rashford in the derby. Very few players have the pace of Rashford but Belgian ace Kompany callled on all his experience to thwart the young forward. As Guardiola has repeatedly said this season, quality is never the question when it comes to the captain. His performance level since coming back from injury has been remarkable and he could be a vital in guiding City to a top-four finish.

Boro v City: Key info

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3 Returning stars

Manager Pep Guardiola will have some welcome selection decisions against Boro. Bacary Sagna was back on the bench against United and will be pushing for a first-team recall, while David Silva could come back in depending on the state of his leg injury. Up front the aforementioned Aguero/Jesus formation needs to be figured out too. There are also rotation considerations, given City have played 120 minutes of a cup semi-final followed by an intense derby in the space of five days. Still, selection dilemmas are usually good problems to have!

4 Motivational matters

On paper City should be confident against a side 19th in the Premier League but you can never underestimate a team fighting against relegation. Boro won their last game, against Sunderland, and have got the better of City a number of times in recent history - not least the painful Etihad draw. City, meanwhile, will be harbouring a feeling of frustration after the Wembley disappointment and derby draw - both games dominated by Pep's men. Time to settle a few scores!

First Team News

Kinkladze: I'd choose City over Barca every time

First Team News

Zabaleta: It felt good to be back

ZABALETA: City's Argentinian right-back enjoyed his performance against Manchester United

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta was delighted to return to the starting line-up and keep a clean sheet against Manchester United.

Pablo Zabaleta reacts to Thursday's 0-0 draw between City and United

Media Watch

Media Watch: Pep voted world's best coach

GUARDIOLA: City's boss has been honoured by L'Equipe

We may be approaching the end of the season but this is no time for Manchester City to rest with Sunday’s match at Middlesbrough coming less than three days after the Manchester derby.

Pep Guardiola and Man City Womens' Champions League semi-final feature in this morning's headlines.