Roberto Mancini faces a number of selection dilemmas for this visit to QPR, most notably in defence where Kolo Touré is at the African Cup of Nations, Maicon needs at least another week of training before being considered, Vincent Kompany is sidelined with a calf strain, Micah Richards remains a few weeks from returning and Matija Nastasic is doubtful due to an inflamed knee ligament. If the Serbian were to miss out, it would mean Karim Rekik could be drafted in alongside Joleon Lescott or, perhaps more likely, the manager deploys a 3-5-2 formation with Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy either side of Lescott. Alternatively, Javi Garcia could drop back but I’d expect him to continue in midfield.
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Samir Nasri has recovered from a virus and will hope to return to the starting line-up, but much depends on what happens defensively and whether James Milner is used as a wingback. Sergio Aguero is likely to be named up front, partnered by either the goal-shy Carlos Tévez or the wildly inconsistent Edin Dzeko.
Here is the side Mancini could select:
Referee: Phil Dowd – He has refereed City twice this season, both times occuring in cup competitions. He was in charge when we were defeated by Aston Villa in the Carling Cup and then in the middle for when we swept aside Watford 3-0 in the FA Cup third round.
Prediction: QPR 0 – 2 MAN CITY – We should have enough quality to defeat the home side, however hard they may make it for us. Goals to be scored by Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
William Hill have some excellent odds for this match: Sergio Aguero to score first and City to win 2-0 is tempting at 19/1, whilst Pablo Zabaleta to score the first goal, as he did against Stoke, is 26/1!