The consenus seems to be that Manuel Pellegrini is a bit stuck for players for the match against Birmingham. Far from it, I’d say. We certainly shouldn’t disrespect Birmingham City, as they lie 8th in the Champtionship. Gary Monk has done a great job in turning round a club that seemed to be in permanent decline. However, there are a couple of players I certainly wouldn’t risk in the starting line-up. They would be Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson. They are the two key players in determining how far up the table we finish at the end of the season. Put them on the bench by all means, and bring them on if necessary, but protect them. I think Snodgrass deserves a rest too.
Adrian will surely get a run-out in goal. I’d keep the back four the same, with Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Diop and Cresswell starting. In midfield I’d play Rice and Noble centrally, with Antonio and Masuaku or Diangana playing wide, with Perez and Carroll up front.
Nasri could start, but I’d have thought is more likely to play the last twenty minutes from the bench. So here’s my lineup…
Subs: Fabianski, Coventry, Nasri, Arnautovic, Snodgrass, Anderson, Obiang
I didn’t buy a ticket for the game and now I really regret it. If you’re going, make some noise!