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World Cup Watch: La Liga winner must make Man City’s shortlist

| 27.05.2014

Just because Man City won the Premier League title this season doesn’t mean they are the finished article, the fact the race to be the land’s best football team went to the last day of the season (mathematically) proves as much.

If Manuel Pellegrini wants to retain the trophy he won this season – something Ladbrokes price him at 7/4 to achieve – then he’ll need reinforcements in some flimsy areas of his squad and we’ve found three heading to this summer’s World Cup:

Mats Hummels – Borussia Dortmund – Defender

Joleon Lescott is cutting City ties this summer and Matija Nastasic has been the club’s Darren Anderton over the course of the season.

So beyond Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis – who split opinion with his performances – Pellegrini will need another centre-back for 2014/15.

Hummels has been linked to City’s Manchester rivals in recent times and as a known selling club, Dortmund could well be tempted should City table a financially suitable offer.

Valon Behrami – Napoli – Midfielder

Although the last Swiss defensive midfielder didn’t quite work out for Man City, Gelson Fernandes’ World Cup teammate could be Pellegrini’s answer to a shortage in that department.

Former Hammer Behrami was a tackling powerhouse for Napoli this season, making four per game on average which put him among the top 10 disruptors in Europe.

Although a left-field suggestion, Behrami would surely jump at the chance to be the Chilean manager’s first reserve behind Yaya Toure and Fernandinho.

Juanfran – Atletico Madrid – Defender

Atletico’s league-winning right back may not get much of a chance to take the field with Daniel Carvajal in the same Rio-bound squad, and he’d experience similar bench time should he switch to the Etihad, as Pablo Zabaleta is clear first choice.

However, like Dortmund, Atleti are never ones to hang on to their star men and with Micah Richards following Lescott through the City exit, a PabZab deputy is needed.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.