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Who Should Start vs. CSKA Moscow

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City's Latest Must-Win and We're Missing a Few Folk

Alex Livesey

Got to be fast today--grades are due this week, I'm a teacher and I'm staring at a stack of essays that, I swear, is breathing. It could be I'm seeing things after hours of reading student scribble OR it could be the stack has actually come to life. My money is on the latter.

We did not do well last time--off by five players. Am I mad? Nah. If anything, it underscores our belief that Pellegrini is better at this than you and better at this than me. I'm stubborn enough to think I might still have been right but I also think we'll never see the two Ferns together in the midfield behind a hard-charging Yaya. It's 4-4-2 forever, people. We're going to be seeing that formation for many a moon.

We know who we will definitely not see tomorrow: Silva is still out and Kolarov is gone for a month with a leg injury he got just moments before taking the pitch against the rags. Lampard and Mangala might be out while Nastasic seems to be permanently stuck in the realm of "who the hell knows." Other than that, we're healthy for City's latest we-really-must-win match. I'm torn between who I think should start and who actually will. Here goes:

GK--Joe Hart who is as good as anyone, thanks for asking. Seriously, who would rather have in the nets right now?

LB--Gael Clichy by default. He played extraordinarily well against United.

CB--Vincent Kompany who's still my team MVP.

CB--Martin Demichelis. Remember last season when he was struggling? Gives me hope for Mangala.

RB--Pablo Zabaleta. I've been praising Sagna in this column but not after his performance against Newcastle. Sagna might very well get the nod here.

LM--Samir Nasri. Pre-injury, he was fantastic. Since then, he's been less so. Needs a good match under his belt.

CM--Yaya Toure. If we played United every single match, Yaya would be all-world forever. He just dominates those guys.

CM--Fernandinho. He'll get the nod because he's fresher and seemingly better offensively, though Fernando had a fine attacking game against United.

RM--James Milner. He's creeping into Yaya territory when it comes to minutes. Increasingly essential to every lineup posted.

ST--Edin Dzeko. I can't think of a Citizen more in need of a good game.

ST--Sergio Aguero. Best striker in England. Stay healthy, #16.

Prediction: City 3-0. I'm starting to hate CSKA what with the racist fans, the trash-talking divers they have players, the awful call they get... I'm ready for them to leave the Etihad with their asses handed to them.