We preface this exercise in punditry and prediction by stating a clear fact: Manuel Pellegrini is better at this than we are. And not for nothing, but what does our fearless leader have to do to be considered the best manager in City's history? We've all heard the supposed edict from the powers that lead Man City-five trophies in five years. My question, perhaps for a future poll: wouldn't that do the trick? If Pellegrini gets five pieces of hardware-and at his current rate, he'll surpass that amount-within five years, he's our GMOAT (Greatest Manager Of All Time), right? Personally, I think he does it and it will be due in no small part to how well he uses the lineup.
Aguero and Silva are back after receiving a couple of knocks but Nasri is very likely out. Fernando and Jovetic are definitely out. As of 5:46am Los Angeles time, everybody else is in play.
GK-Joe Hart who, believe it or not, is still one mistake away from being replaced by Willy Caballero who looked very competent against an overmatched Sheffield Wednesday side. Hart is playing well and I'm sure it's due in no small part to the competition behind him.
LB-Gael Glichy who is well rested and ready to provide speed and defense on the road. Kolarov played a load of minutes on Wednesday against Wednesday (sorry, had to).
CB-Vincent Kompany who, in my not so humble opinion, is currently playing better than anyone in the Barclays Premier League; he's my player of the year candidate if the season suddenly ended today.
CB-Eliaquim Mangala. Time for a nickname, right? Glichy and Kompany are calling him Mango while his former teammates used Manga. He'll need a nickname because Mangala looks like the best signing of the summer by any team. What a player.
RB-Pablo Zabaleta is back after a one game suspension.
LM-David Silva. If he's really healthy, there is never a controversy about starting this guy.
CM-Yaya Toure with this caveat: I don't see him going the full 90 after putting in over an hour on Wednesday against Wednesday (last time I use that, I swear).
CM-Fernandinho. See above.
RM-James Milner with my choice for Wednesday's man-of-the-match, Jesus Navas, at the ready.
ST-Sergio Aguero and let us all say a prayer, as we always do before the match, that he walks off the pitch healthy.
ST-Edin Dzeko. The value of his good health cannot be overstated. We really do need a fourth striker since we're a team that favors a two-striker system and we've got two strikers who keep us in bated breath since every time they step on the pitch it might be mean a trip to the hospital. Dzeko is the guy who, while not being our best, has been our most reliable #9 and a pretty damn good one at that.
Prediction: Hull is an improved side, maybe a top ten side before the year is out and they're tough at home but I got City winning this 2-0.