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Sporting Kansas City vs. Manchester City: How Man City Will Line Up in KC

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04:  Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City looks on after missing a goalscoring chance during the Budweiser FA Cup third round match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City at Ewood Park on January 4, 2014 in Blackburn, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Phil KeidelContributor IISeptember 24, 2016

You know who is not lining up for Manchester City against Sporting Kansas City? Alvaro Negredo.

Negredo's injury is terribly unwelcome news on numerous fronts.

Not to be callous, but the primary difficulty Negredo's broken foot presents to City is that thoughts of potentially selling him are now on hold. For a club with City's Financial Fair Play concerns, the return on the sale of Negredo could have bought City some breathing room in their transfer dealings.

Until word of Negredo's injury surfaced, a deal for the Spanish international with Real Madrid appeared to be a real possibility. "Real Madrid are reportedly eyeing up a move for Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo," wrote Vaishali Bhardwaj of Metro before Negredo's injury was made public knowledge.

City are probably not desperate to dump Negredo. As Bhardwaj noted, Negredo "scored 23 Premier League goals in his debut season in England." But the Spaniard has not scored since January 21.

Therefore, if City were not going to sell Negredo, it stood to reason that he would be given a more-than-normal allotment of playing time during City's imminent tour of the States. This is especially so because both Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko are unavailable following their World Cup exertions.

The Spaniard's injury means that City's already thin talent pool for this coming friendly with Sporting Kansas City is now emaciated. The injury to Negredo and the absences of Aguero and Dzeko mean that the only first-team striker available to play in Kansas City is Stevan Jovetic.

But it is not like the forward position is the only one suffering from a lack of able bodies. 

To put all of this in perspective, here was City's XI against West Ham United on the day they clinched their second Premier League title in three seasons: Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Aleksandar Kolarov; Toure, Silva, Javi Garcia, Samir Nasri; Dzeko, Aguero.

Seven of those players are not even in Kansas City for this match. Seven.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini is therefore presented with the difficult task of fielding a competitive side against Major League Soccer's reigning champions without the vast majority of the players who made his own side Premier League winners.

For that matter, Pellegrini needs to put out an XI that lets Kansas City's Manchester City support feel like they saw City play. That can be achieved with the roster at Pellegrini's disposal, but only if he plays the biggest names he has available all at once.

City's predicted XI against Sporting Kansas City: Willy Caballero; Kolarov, Karim Rekik, Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards; Nasri, Fernando, Jack Rodwell, Jesus Navas; Stevan Jovetic, John Guidetti.

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