Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini could be forced to hand Nicolas Otamendi his debut against Crystal Palace this weekend – as an emergency right-back.
The defender – a £31.5m signing from Valencia last month – famously played as a right-back in Argentina’s 4-0 thrashing by Germany in the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, where he was ruthlessly targeted and exposed by Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil.
Manchester City are yet to concede a Premier League goal in four matches but that record will come under severe threat against Palace, currently second in the table with nine points.
And Pellegrini may be forced into handing Otamendi his City debut out of position by injuries to Bacary Sagna (forced out of France’s friendly win over Serbia on Monday with an ankle injury), Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy.
Pellegrini’s other option is to draft in rookie right-back Pablo Maffeo, the 18-year-old Spaniard who was on the bench for last week’s 2-0 win over Watford.