Dietmar Hamann: Why Manchester City must drop Yaya Toure
MAN CITY v MAN UNITED
(Tomorrow, 9.30pm, SingTel mio TV Ch 102 & StarHub TV Ch 227)
1 Manchester City are going through a rough patch, with no wins in their last three games. What must Manuel Pellegrini do to turn things around?
HAMANN: He needs to instil confidence in the team, because they look short on that at the moment.
For a start, he definitely needs to sort out the midfield.
Yaya Toure is not playing well, and there comes a time when he must drop him to the bench.
The Ivorian has been disappointing, so it's only right that others get the chance to prove themselves.
He's not scoring as regularly as he is capable of. He has become more of a problem than an asset.
Pellegrini should start with Fernando and Fernandinho to give the team more stability. That's what they lack at the moment, a little stability in midfield.
Of the two, Fernandinho is the one who likes to go forward more.
They can definitely play together.
The Citizens have enough attacking talent to cope without Toure.
Even though David Silva is injured, Stevan Jovetic is back, and there are also Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, so they have plenty of options up front.
2 Do City look like they are capable of retaining the league title?
Despite having a strong squad, City have been very poor.
The manager is under huge pressure to perform.
The next eight weeks will be crucial for them.
City can still win the league, but they need to make adjustments to the team, and to improve drastically.
The players have the capability to pull through this mini crisis.
Things change quickly in football.
3 Wayne Rooney is likely to return for the Manchester Derby. How big a boost is that for United?
He's a fantastic player and he can turn on the style in big games.
Although I've never viewed him as a world-class footballer, he has been a very good Premier League player.
He has scored plenty of goals in the league, won Premiership and Champions League titles and cups.
But has he performed regularly enough for the club in recent times? I'm not so sure.
He was as disappointing as the rest of his teammates for much of last season.
Louis van Gaal needs him to rediscover the form he showed when they last won the league title in the 2012/13 season.
They need a spark from somewhere.
Like City, United also have their own problems to contend with.
They are conceding goals and they are not scoring enough. They need somebody like Rooney to turn things around.
There's no better opportunity than a game against the defending champions to show that United are still up there with the best teams.
4 Do you expect United to play all four attacking stars - Rooney, Angel di Maria, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao - against City?
Rooney will probably play off Robin van Persie, who should start after scoring the equaliser against Chelsea.
Di Maria has been excellent on the flanks as well.
But I don't think Falcao will start because it will be foolish to start two centre forwards against City. Don't forget Rooney is a striker as well.
A lot of teams play with no centre forwards at City's ground. To play with three could be suicidal.
United have got to be cautious. It is unwise to give City too much space to roam.
I expect United to play on the counter-attack and let City come at them.
City are at home, they are the ones who have to take the game to United.
5 What's your prediction?
United will get something out of this game because City's form is a worry.
There will be goals, maybe a 2-2 draw.
United are on the up after holding leaders Chelsea last weekend. They should have a bit more belief now.
Dietmar Hamann has played for Bayern Munich, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City. He won the Bundesliga in 1994 and 1997, and the treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001, besides the Champions League in 2005. The ex-German international is the author of The Didi Man: My Love Affair With Liverpool.
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