Costel Pantilimon looks set to replace Joe Hart in goal although that is no reflection on the England man’s blooper in the league last weekend, rather it reflects Roberto Mancini’s desire to give our second-choice ‘keeper some game time. Vincent Kompany is doubtful for this fixture as the manager feels it’s not worth taking a risk on the captain’s ongoing calf injury, so that means, bearing in mind the Mancini’s reticence to partner Joleon Lescott and Matija Nastasic, Kolo Touré is likely to be recalled along the now fit-again Serb. Maicon offers an option to switch to 3-5-2 that would provide some much-needed width but I’d expect him to remain on the bench.
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After his disastrous performance against Southampton, Gareth Barry was likely to sit out this encounter but it has been revealed he is carrying a slight knock anyway and trained on his own on Thursday. Javi Garcia could be named alongside Yaya Touré in midfield, but I’d prefer to see Jack Rodwell given a game. James Milner is expected to replace the frequently ineffective Samir Nasri, with Carlos Tévez and Edin Dzeko battling it out for a place up front.
Here is the side Mancini could select:
Referee: Mark Clattenburg – Has officiated City twice this season, away to Stoke when we drew 1-1 and he missed Andy Wilkinson’s elbow on Mario Balotelli plus Peter Crouch’s blatant handball for the Potters’ goal, and when we were victorious at West Brom, a match in which Clattenburg correctly sent off James Milner.
Prediction: MAN CITY 3 – 1 Leeds – There should hopefully be a strong reaction after the embarrassing loss to Southampton and although the visitors will be eager, our quality should shine through. Goals to be scored by Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tévez, David Silva and El Hadji-Diouf.