As Manchester City took on Championship division side Leicester City in a quarterfinal clash in Capital One Cup play, manager Manuel Pellegrini made changes to his team, especially at the forward position. In addition, the game also served as a chance for forward Edin Dzeko to make his case for an increased role in the upcoming month as Sergio Aguero injured his calf and will be missing at least one month.
With the injury to Aguero, who has scored 13 goals in Premier League play so far, the natural assumption might be that Dzeko will be the replacement and partner Alvaro Negredo. Yet, that may not be the case as it is very likely that Pellegrini will opt to change his team’s formation and tactical approach instead.
As was shown in their Capital One Cup win, Pellegrini opted to play with a 4-2-3-1 formation, which meant he decided to play with one forward in Dzeko, who scored two goals while being supported by three attacking midfielders in Jesus Navas, David Silva, and Jack Rodwell.
Given that it is not clear how much or how well Dzeko and Negredo have meshed together in practice, one can reasonably assume that the natural preference for Pellegrini will be to play his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
If this is the case, it is clear that Negredo will be the preferred option upfront as the lone striker in this formation with Dzeko once again relegated to a bench role, as much as he might not be to happy about this. With Negredo up front, he will be supported by Navas, Silva and in all likelihood Samir Nasri, who did not play on Tuesday evening but is now a regular in Pellegrini’s starting 11.
In addition, summer signing Stefan Jovetic is likely to see some action now that he is returning from injury. Apart from his ability to play as the striker, he can play out on the wing.
While the loss of a player who is in form at the moment like Aguero is a loss no team wants to have to deal with for any extended length of time, Manchester City are a team who are well equipped to overcome it given the depth of the squad. In addition, they have a manager who will make the necessary tactical adjustments which will allow Manchester City to continue fighting for the league title.