After a summer of spending, the Premier League’s top teams are taking shape.
We’re asking our Soccer Saturday pundits to pick the strongest XIs of the likely title-challengers – and we want to know what you think of their selections!
Here’s how former Manchester City forward Paul Walsh expects Manuel Pellegrini to line up his side, and why he thinks Frank Lampard could play his part during his loan spell...
PAUL'S XI (4-4-2): Hart – Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy – Nasri, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva – Aguero, Dzeko
PAUL SAYS: A lot of this team picks itself. Gael Clichy should get the nod over Aleksandar Kolarov in more games at left-back as he is a better defender, while I don’t see Bacary Sagna displacing Pablo Zabaleta on the right because Zabaleta has been excellent for years. Eliaquim Mangala, if he signs, should play with Vincent Kompany at the back, but Fernando will probably have to settle for a place on the bench with Yaya Toure and Fernandinho having a firm grip on those central-midfield places.
However, I think and hope Frank Lampard will get starts in certain games because he is better playing from the off than making an impression as a substitute. David Silva has to play so I suspect him and Samir Nasri will figure as the wide midfielders, leaving Jesus Navas as a sub, while Edin Dzeko would be my guy to play alongside Sergio Aguero. That looks like a good side to me and should secure City second spot – behind Chelsea.