Skipper Returns

by Hamish Dufton

Roberto Martinez welcomes back his skipper Phil Jagielka for the visit of Manchester City this afternoon.

Jagielka could make his return to the side in the holding midfield role vacated by Gareth Barry, who cannot play against his parent club under the terms of his loan agreement.

Alternatively, the England international's return could see Roberto Martinez implement three centre-backs.

Antolin Alcaraz and John Stones both start alongside full-backs Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines.

James McCarthy, Steven Naismith, Leon Osman and Ross Barkley complete the midfield five, with Romelu Lukaku taking the lone striker berth.

Further good news can be found on the bench, with Sylvain Distin returning from injury to make the squad against his former club.

He is joined by Joel Robles, Tony Hibbert, Aiden McGeady and Gerard Deulofeu, while youngsters Luke Garbutt and Ryan Ledson – both on the bench at St Marys last Saturday – retain their places.
For City, former Blue Joleon Lescott is named among the substitutes for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

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