Man City Focus – Pellegrini facing selection queries ahead of Premier League opener

The Premier League is finally underway but Manchester City fans have to wait until Monday night to see their new stars on display as they take on Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium. New manager Manuel Pellegrini has been busy improving his inherited squad throughout the summer transfer window.

Many believe that the Chilean boss will use his acquisitions to play with wingers; however one position which is not cut and dried yet is that of the striker’s spot. It is thought that City’s hierarchy want the club to mirror the set up that has made Barcelona the force they are today, which would mean all of the club’s teams from juniors to seniors adopting 4-3-3 formations.

The 4-3-3 line-up would mean that new man Fernandinho may be in line to make his league debut in the deeper midfield role, which would give more freedom to Yaya Toure ahead of him. However other claims suggest that Pellegrini could go against this as a way of keeping his independence in charge of the club. If this were to be the case then a 4-2-3-1 could be his preferred set up.

Brazilian Fernandinho has been quoted in the press this week ahead of the Blues’ season opener as he attempts to break the normal Brazilian to Man City stereotype. The Daily Star claims that the natural progression of Brazilians at City has seen them “sparkle” before “fizzling out.” The Citizens have brought in Robinho, Elano, Jo and, most recently, Maicon, and all have had individual periods of brilliance before inevitably being shipped out after blowing cold.

Fernandinho though claims that he wants to be the one to buck the trend: “I was presented with the challenge of coming to City. The owners and the manager want to win trophies and I want to be a part of that too.” He added: “I came here to win. Of course I will be paid as a professional footballer but the only thing I am greedy for is success.

However if the new manager prefers the latter of the two formations then it is thought the Brazilian could be placed in front of the defence in partnership with Toure – which would then see Jesus Navas, Sergio Aguero and David Silva playing just behind Edin Dzeko up top. Dzeko has been Pellegrini’s choice of striker so far in the club’s pre-season preparations.

But this may have been because the new faces, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, were deemed to be unfit for action following their respective transfers. Many feel that Dzeko could be the player who misses out as former Fiorentina man Jovetic may be preferred, though the Bosnian hit man does offer Premier League experience.

Elsewhere various reports are claiming that Pellegrini is still looking to strengthen his squad with specific concentration being paid to his defence. The knee problem picked up by Matija Nastasic in their pre-season tour of Hong Kong has meant the manager has had to reshuffle his defence in preparation for the Newcastle game.

In the Serbian’s absence Joleon Lescott could be in line for to start, however many also believe that an outsider to start could be young Dedryck Boyata who has impressed on tour.

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