Setting Up a Manchester City Team to Win Away at Bayern Munich

Tim OscroftContributor IOctober 11, 2013

How will Manuel Pellegrini try to get the better of Pep Guardiola in December?
How will Manuel Pellegrini try to get the better of Pep Guardiola in December?Julian Finney/Getty Images

Manchester City's 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich was a humbling experience for a side and a club still finding their feet in Europe.

Joe Hart's early fumble didn't help, and if there's one side you don't present gilt-edged opportunities to, it's the European champions.

The pair will meet again on Matchday 6 of Group D, so it's anyone's guess as to whether City will need to win in the Allianz Arena or not.

But, if they did, how might they line up?

Joe Hart; Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar Kolarov; Samir Nasri, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, David Silva; Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo.

City's squad do their take on Reservoir Dogs ahead of the first meeting with Bayern Munich.
City's squad do their take on Reservoir Dogs ahead of the first meeting with Bayern Munich.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Yes, Hart had a horror show the first time out, per Will Tidey of Bleacher Report, but I still don't see Costel Pantilimon getting the nod over the England international (but I reserve the right to be wrong). 

Much as I like Micah Richards, at the moment, Pablo Zabaleta should be regarded as City's first choice at right-back. The Argentine is a safer bet defensively but does provide an option in attack.

At left-back, Gael Clichy will find it hard to return to the side permanently after his problems against Bayern, and Aleksandar Kolarov seems to be one of those benefiting most from Manuel Pellegrini's methods as opposed to Roberto Mancini's.

With Vincent Kompany seemingly injured for awhile, Joleon Lescott will get a run in the side, and I think he might get the nod. I'll make an assumption that Kompany is back by then, and given Matija Nastasic's problems in the first meeting with the Bavarian aristocrats (he wasn't alone in that), Lescott will keep his place.

Fernandinho and Yaya Toure are the preferred options in central midfield. It's hard to see Jack Rodwell or Javi Garcia being given the nod in a must-win scenario.

Samir Nasri tangles with Toni Kroos at Etihad Stadium.
Samir Nasri tangles with Toni Kroos at Etihad Stadium.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

David Silva impressed in his cameo against Bayern so he will be selected, and I think Samir Nasri's improvement this season may see him pencilled in ahead of Jesus Navas.

Sergio Aguero is the most certain of certainties in attack, and Alvaro Negredo looked good in the first game, so on that basis, he's my prediction for the striker role.

Lots will happen between now and 10 December.

Stevan Jovetic has hardly featured yet this term, but if he gets a run in the side, he could be challenging by then. Edin Dzeko, despite his flaws, will always get goals and is bound to be in the mix.

The game against CSKA Moscow—City's next European trip—is crucial. Win there, and that should give them the momentum to beat CSKA and then Viktoria Plzen at home. Then, the trip to Munich may not matter, but given City's inconsistency this term—and in Europe in general—something tells me it won't be that simple.

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