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Aston Villa v City: Team & tactics



Kelechi Iheanacho will lead the line for City against Aston Villa this afternoon as Manuel Pellegrini makes four changes from the team that beat Everton on Wednesday.

Bacary Sagna, Jesus Navas, and Fernando also return to the starting XI with the manager opting for a very young bench.

Starting XI and bench:

Caballero, Zabaleta, Sagna, Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Navas, Fernandinho, Delph, Sterling, Iheanacho Subs: Hart, Angelino, Humphreys, Barker, Silva, Celina, Aguero


Will City go with Iheanacho as the lone striker, supported by Navas and Sterling in a 4-2-3-1 on the flanks or will Sterling play alongside the Nigerian as part of a 4-4-2?

The Blues could also  play 4-4-1-1 with Sterling just behind Kelechi, though the fact both Fernando and Fabian Delph are in the team means we are likely to see Fernandinho in a more advanced role between Sterling and Navas.

Interestingly, Sagna looks likely to partner Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of the Blues' defence with Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta continuing in the full-backs.

Brilliance and youth in reserve:

Sergio Aguero and David Silva are today's insurance policy, should things not be going to plan.

If we see one or both before the 70-minute mark, it may be because either the Blues need to claw their way back into the game or because the boss doesn't want a replay.

The rest of the bench - Joe Hart apart - is made of of promising young talent with Angelino, Bersant Celina, Brandon Barker and Cameron Humphreys waiting in the wings.

Villa starting XI:

Guzan, Bacuna, Richards, Clark, Cissokho, Gana, Westwood, Veretout, Gil, Sinclair, Ayew 

Subs: Bunn, Okore, Agbonlahor, Lescott, Hutton, Lyden, Grealish

Villa start with Micah Richards skippering their starting XI and Scott Sinclair in attack. Another former favourite, Joleon Lescott, is on the bench.

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