Manuel Pellegrini hopes David Silva will be in contention for Manchester City's Champions League group game against Bayern Munich evening, after a month out with a thigh injury. Sergio Agüero, who missed Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa, is also hoping to be fit following an undisclosed problem.
If Silva is available it will be a major relief for Pellegrini as the Spaniard has not played since the 2-0 win over Hull on 31 August. The forward injured a thigh during a Spain training session in early September and despite hopes that he could return earlier – for the Manchester derby at the start of last week – Silva was unable to do so.
Pellegrini is expected to provide an update on Silva and Aguero, who has not featured since scoring twice in the 4-1 win over Manchester United, in his Tuesday afternoon press conference ahead of the following evening's Champions League group game with Bayern Munich, the holders.Micah Richards, meanwhile, has revealed how Pellegrini has discarded the defensive zonal system, adopted by his predecessor, for a man-to-man strategy.
City lost 3-2 at Cardiff in their opening away game, with two of the home goals due to confusion at corners. "[Roberto] Mancini preferred zonal marking while Pellegrini likes man-to-man marking," Richards said. "Unfortunately, at Cardiff we looked a bit vulnerable on set pieces. To adjust from zonal to man-marking was not easy and after two years of zonal marking changing things around takes time to adjust to – but we'll get there as the season goes on.
"Personally, I prefer a mixture of defensive techniques with one or two zonally placed and maybe three or four man-markers so you know certain positions are covered but there are pros and cons for both methods.
"As a unit we pride ourselves on being solid at the back. We've had a great defensive record over the last three seasons. If you have the best defensive record for three successive years it means the defenders are doing their job, too. We like to keep clean sheets and it gives us as much satisfaction as the strikers get scoring three or four goals."