Manchester City opt for surprise inclusion up front

As reported by the Daily Star, Manchester City have kicked-off their Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace in the absence of a recognised striker.

The reigning Premier League champions are keen to get their title defence back on track, as they currently find themselves three points behind table toppers Chelsea, with a win against the Eagles this afternoon – which would make it a run of eight consecutive victories across all competitions.

But their chances of all three points have been dented somewhat by the club’s injury problems; Premier League top scorer Sergio Aguero, who boats a potent return of 13 goals in just 12 starts this term, is out with a knee injury, whilst Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic are suffering from calf and hamstring problems respectively.

Resultantly, Manuel Pellegrini’s starting Xi, containing no orthodox centre-forward, was as follows; Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Eliaquim Mangala, Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri, James Milner.

As a consequence, it’s the latter England international that’s taken up a Lionel Messi-inspired false 9 role, and although he hasn’t got on the scoresheet, the Citizens are currently leading through a David Silva brace – with just half an hour remaining.

Supporters will be disappointed that the club’s actual No.9, Alvaro Negredo, was allowed to leave for Valencia on summer deadline day.