One question City fans have to ask is what formation Manuel Pellegrini will use if he comes to Manchester? He has favored a 4-2-3-1 at Real Madrid and Malaga. Sporting director Txiki Begiristain apparently would like City to operate in a 4-3-3. Pellegrini has proven to be very flexible, however, as he has at times employed different formations at his former clubs to accent the strengths of his teams or the weaknesses of his opponents.
The problem may be that City’s roster is not optimized by the 4-3-3. City has often used a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1. Pellegrini’s 4-2-3-1 is not much different from these formations, as its backbone is having quality midfielders. With Manchester City’s current roster, plus the possible additions of Isco and Fernandinho, playing in a 4-3-3 would minimize the impact of the amount of quality midfielders City would have. Out of Yaya, David Silva, Nasri, Barry, Milner, Isco, Rodwell, and Fernandinho, only 3 could play in the midfield.
The 3 forwards would likely be Aguero, Tevez, and Dzeko, and possibly any other summer signing. With All three of Aguero, Tevez, and Dzeko being rumoured to possibly be leaving Manchester, having a 3 forward formation would not be the best choice with the current roster. If any of Edinson Cavani, Stefan Jovetic, or Marco Reus were able to be obtained by City, the situation would be different. At the moment however, this does not seem likely.
While in the 4-4-1-1 and 4-4-2, Manchester City found some difficulty in scoring this season, but this just be the product of injuries and down-years for Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, who have both found success in these formations in previous seasons.
A combination of a 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 could be the best option for City. One possible lineup could be:
There could be some flexibility in the midfield, where Yaya would not have to play in the back midfield with Fernandinho. Nasri could play CAM, where he has not formally been placed this season, but has had more success when playing in that part of the field. Tevez could also replace Nasri in this lineup.
Another possibility when wanting to use more than one striker could be:
Pellegrini’s 4-2-3-1 may prove to be the best option for Manchester City. Time will tell if this holds true at the end of the summer, depending on what Txiki can do to bolster the roster.