I have every sympathy with his dilemma. Mancini's team are wounded beasts at the moment and will be looking to get their season back on track, identifying this as not only a winnable game but a must be won game. If even Arsenal can roll us over at the Boleyn, then a team of Man City's calibre should be giving us a roasting.
And I fully expect them to do precisely that. Defensively, we are not good enough: McCartney was an average full back in the Championship last season and he is woefully inadequate in the Prem; O'Brien is better, marginally, but is out of position at left back and a poor replacement for Demel in the right back berth; Tomkins is not a full back, full stop; and Collins is looking a pale shadow of the warhorse who partnered Upson a few seasons back.
God help us if Tevez fancies this one. Or Ballotelli. Or any of the other brilliant attacking options available to Mancini.
The trouble is, if we sit deep and hit the ball long, it will keep coming back, and with nobs on. Sooner or later - and probably sooner - one of the City stars will fashion an opening, or will be presented with one on a plate.
So should we attack? At our peril! Leave ourselves short at the back and it will be a massacre on Green Street.
Allardyce will be scratching his head, trying to work out how he can plug the obvious weaknesses in the team. The failure to sign two decent full backs is about to bite us on the arse, with a vengeance. Wigan exposed Tomkins last Saturday so what will Man City do to him if he plays?