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Media Watch

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Pellegrini: Nasri likely to start versus WBA

It’s matchday so there’s plenty of build-up to this evening’s game against West Brom at the Etihad, plus a couple of transfer rumours…

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Chilean praised the midfielder for returning from his long-term injury and admitted he is now in line for his first appearance in the starting XI since September.

Pellegrini is quoted by ESPN as saying: "Samir is in the squad list -- probably he will start.

"Really it was a very unlucky injury because it was in a training session without any problem. He shot a ball and he felt that something happened in his muscle and it was a very hard injury.

"I am happy for him because he worked very well in the last month, he returned maybe a little bit more early than the doctor expected, that's why he is not in the Champions League list, I changed him for Kelechi.

"I am very happy I am telling you about him and I hope in the last games of the Premier League he will demonstrate how good a player he is."

Elsewhere, the Manchester Evening News believe that this weekend could be a pivotal one for City in the Premier League in their five things to look out for in today’s game.

Simon Bajkowski writes: “Manchester City can make some real headway in the league this weekend.

“A win over West Brom leaves United four points behind ahead of a tricky trip to White Hart Lane to play second-placed Spurs.

“And with Arsenal meeting West Ham too, the Blues are in a situation where the four teams around them could all drop points this weekend.

“They can either move in closer on the two north London teams ahead of them, or gain some breathing room in the race for the top four, or a mix of both; City just need to do their bit.”

Onto the transfer rumours and one that is appearing regularly in the media these days is the one about Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.

Now talkSPORT, via Spanish newspaper Sport, believe that City are close to the signing of the French defender.

They state: “Manchester City are closing in on the signing of Aymeric Laporte, according to reports in Spain.

“The Athletic Bilbao defender has been tipped as one for the future and he is wanted by several sides.

“Barcelona scouted the 21-year-old earlier this season, while Paris Saint-Germain made an enquiry last summer.

“However, according to Sport, City are working on a deal for Laporte and hope to snap him up at the end of the season.”

And finally, reports in the Brazilian media suggest that Juventus have slapped a hefty price tag on Alex Sandro after rumoured interest from City and Manchester United.

Football Italia scribe: “Brazilian media claim Juventus told Manchester City and Manchester United that Alex Sandro costs €50m.

“The left-back arrived in Turin from Porto last summer for €26m, a huge investment for the 25-year-old.

“According to Globo Esporte in Brazil, Juve told interested parties Manchester City and Manchester United that Alex Sandro is not on the market.

“He would only be released for the eye-watering transfer fee of €50m, allowing Juventus to double their investment.”

First Team News

Hart: Let's make 'crazy' game count

City goalkeeper Joe Hart admitted the 2-2 draw with PSG was a ‘crazy game’ – and challenged his team-mates to make the away goals count in the second leg.

Fit-again Hart, skipper on the night, saved a penalty from Zlatan Ibrahimovic before Kevin De Bruyne blasted City in front.

First Team News

Pellegrini: There's still work to do

Manuel Pellegrini has told his players they must remain focused during next week’s second leg against Paris Saint-Germain if they are to reach the Champions League semi-final.

City earned a 2-2 draw in Paris after goals from De Bruyne and Fernandinho cancelled out strikes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adrien Rabiot.

First Team News

Played for both: Nicolas Anelka

ANELKA: The French striker played for City between 2002 and 2005.

Nicolas Anelka is one of several City players to have played for both the Blues and Paris St Germain.

His career started at the French side and he returned for a second spell in 2000 before joining City on a permanent deal two years later.