Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FIVE Things to Look out for at the Etihad Tonight

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FIVE Things to Look out for at the Etihad Tonight

Article excerpt

DE BRUYNE IN NEED OF A REST SINCE joining City at the end of August, Kevin De Bruyne has played 14 times for club and country - an exhausting schedule that appears to have taken its toll.

Sunday's performance at Old Trafford was perhaps his least effective since joining the Blues.

He looked heavylegged, and with City set to face Norwich in the league on Saturday followed by a crucial trip to Seville for Tuesday's Champions League game, perhaps this is a good opportunity to rest their talented 24-yearold.

SHOULD BONY KEEP HIS PLACE? WILFRIED Bony's second-half display in Sunday's derby was widely criticised.

The Ivorian, whose first 10 months at City have been mired in difficulty, struggled to impact the game in any meaningful way. His first touch was poor and moves often broke down with his involvement.

It is vital he is ready for City's game with Sevilla, given his status as City's only fit and eligible Champions League striker.

Perhaps 19-year-old Kelechi Iheanacho, who was hugely impressive in preseason and in his fleeting cameo appearances in the league this season, should be given a chance from the start.

HOW MANY YOUNGSTERS CAN CITY AFFORD TO PLAY? IF Iheanacho does play, how many other youngsters should be given a chance? It's always a fine balance. For some, the League Cup is the least important competition and represents the best opportunity for a manager to give his young players first-team experience.

However, Pellegrini clearly values the competition and knows full well he will be judged on how much silverware he can win this season. His team selection in the thirdround win over Sunderland was strong and suggests he wants to reclaim the trophy he won in his debut year at the club.

Young players need chances at senior level to make the breakthrough, but winning trophies is all-important. Pellegrini needs to find a balance.

GOALKEEPING DILEMMA INDEED, if Pellegrini does want to win the Capital One Cup, can he afford to change his goalkeeper as he has done in the past? …

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