Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Who Should Lead The Line In Aguero’s Absence When Man City Take On Man United In The Derby?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Having spent more than £100m, Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s new boss, will still face a dilemma for his first major match since moving to the Premier League. The first weekend of the Premier League back after the international break will see Manchester City take on Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at Old Trafford in a Manchester derby that has the makings of the most exciting game in world football this season. Ideally, both managers would want all their star players available for this game but Guardiola will miss the services of Sergio Aguero, the star striker who was handed a ban by the FA for misconduct during his previous league game.

Aguero was found elbowing Winston Reid, the Hammers defender in their victory and is now going to miss the next three games in all competitions leaving Guardiola with a decision to make as to who will lead his side in those games. Guardiola is not really known to change too much of his set up at a club and will not be favoring a false-9 system. He is not a real advocate of having an extra midfield man to control the game and fight for an opening. He rather likes his team to dominate games with a star attacker and get the better of oppositions by using their strengths.

In the game against Manchester United, Pep Guardiola has to choose from Nolito, Raheem Sterling or Kelechi Iheanacho to lead the attack for his side. Sterling, who played in this position to great effect at Liverpool can be a good option as he will run in behind defenders and help his side create havoc in the final third at the Old Trafford. Nolito, the new summer signing, who will provide pace up front like Raheem Sterling will also add a bit of physicality to the game and having settled into the Premier League, he will not be a bad option to lead the side on the afternoon.

But young Iheanacho, who has already scored a few under Pep Guardiola from the pre-season might just be the right man on the day. The 19-year old Nigerian scored some important goals for Manuel Pellegrini in the previous season and is not fazed by the occasion. He is a top class player who has shown maturity beyond his years and has shown that he belongs at the greatest stage in world football. He is a proper target man that will help Guardiola approach the United game like any other while his positioning in front of goal and finishing can help City get the better of the Red Devils.


Iheanacho is one of the few top class youngsters in the Premier League who deserve to get regular game time. He will be a great option to lead the side as players around him will help him improve on his game. A Manchester derby is never an easy game to start but the 19-year has enough experience in Manchester to come out of the game with his head held high if given a chance to flourish. Aguero’s suspension will see him miss the games against AFC Bournemouth in the league and Swansea in the League Cup a few days later. Iheanacho will be a perfect fit for the side and if he can have a decent game at Old Trafford, he can cement a place in the side for those games as well. Who do you think should start for City at United next weekend in place of Kun Aguero?

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