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How Manchester City Will Line Up Against Bayern Munich

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Manchester City player Edin Dzeko celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park on September 28, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Tim OscroftContributor IAugust 16, 2016

Manchester City have an ideal opportunity to build on their good start to this year's Champions League campaign against the reigning titleholders Bayern Munich at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Viktoria Plzen were eventually despatched by Manuel Pellegrini's side on Matchday 1 after they overcame a nervous first-half performance to win 3-0, while Bayern saw off CSKA Moscow by the same scoreline.

Success in Europe's elite club competition is the next stage in the City project, so going up against the best is the perfect way to assess whether the master-plan is on track. Their previous attempts came off the rails too early, but the Blues can put those struggles firmly behind them on Wednesday night on home soil.

So, who will Pellegrini go for? I think he'll select this starting 11:

Joe Hart; Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Aleksandar Kolarov; Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri; Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko.

PLZEN, CZECH REPUBLIC - SEPTEMBER 17:  Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester in action during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Viktoria Plzen and Manchester City on September 17, 2013 in Plzen, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Getty Images)
Lennart Preiss/Getty Images

The back five pretty much picks itself, despite the wobble at Aston Villa on Saturday. Micah Richards has only started the easy Capital One Cup win over Wigan, not enough to push Pablo Zabaleta for his place just yet, but the popular Argentine, like all established players, needs someone to give him a run for his money in the team.

Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic are the first-choice pairing in central defence, but having been caught out for Andreas Weimann's winner last Saturday they will need to be at their very best with Mario Mandzukic, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben lurking. Aleksander Kolarov has looked invigorated under Pellegrini, and while the Serb is a useful attacking outlet he must do his main job of defending first and foremost.

The central midfield is straightforward choice, with Fernandinho's Champions League experience and Yaya Toure's goal scoring form that has brought the Ivorian four goals in six Premier League outings making them obvious selections. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City (16) celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Manch
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Pellegrini has declared Silva fit and available, and the Spain international's trickery will be an asset whether from the start or off the bench.

Jesus Navas did not start on Saturday at Villa Park, a clear indication he was being held back for Wednesday, where he will need to provide a good service for Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian's four goals in all competitions so far this season put him just ahead of Alvaro Negredo.

Sergio Aguero looks to have grown into the role of City's talisman since the departure of Carlos Tevez, and having been left out of the 18 altogether for the Villa defeat he is another who will be unleashed once more on the biggest stage.

City against Bayern could be an enthralling encounter, so don't forget to stay with Bleacher Report for all the usual coverage and reaction from 19:45 BST on Wednesday.


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