This weekend’s fixture against Chelsea could cap off a perfect week for the blues. A week in which we returned back where we belong, the top of the Premier League. Of course, victories against Arsenal and Everton could mean nothing with defeat on Sunday but I think Pep Guardiola knows that more than me.
In his press conference, Pep confirmed that we will be without Benjamin Mendy and Vincent Kompany for the game as they both are struggling to get over their niggling injuries. Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns with a full squad ready to travel to the Etihad.
Pep has sprung a few surprises on us with his team selections recently. One of them saw a complete change of system against Arsenal where he packed the midfield, however this is unlikely to happen again with Chelsea’s major attacking threat from the wings. Laporte was switched out to left-back in both games, but the pace of Eden Hazard may be better suited to an actual fullback.
Predicted Starting XI:
Starting with the ever present Ederson in goal, who I’d imagine will be busier than usual and will have to be on top of his game with his feet when Chelsea try to press him.
With Benjamin Mendy still side-lined, I’d expect Danilo to return to the side after a few games out of the firing line. After his brief spell at left-back, Aymeric Laporte should return to his favoured role in the heart of the defence and with John Stones partnering the Frenchman. Kyle Walker has improved recently after his poor early 2019 form and I expect him to complete the back four.
Fernandinho will undoubtedly be our defensive midfielder and is going to be pivotal if City are to take all three points in this one – if there’s anyone I can trust to pull it out of the bag, it’s the Brazilian. Kevin De Bruyne will again be desperate to get one over on his former club, and with his rest on Wednesday, he’ll be one of the first names on the team sheet this weekend. David Silva has looked off his magical best the last couple of weeks and looks desperate for a rest. Bernardo Silva may be expected to move in from the right and partner the Belgian in the middle.
Raheem Sterling is another one who was rested in midweek and will slot back into the right wing position on Sunday. On the other flank, Riyad Mahrez has looked completely out of favour recently so I’d expect our boy wonder Leroy Sané to operate from the left. Guardiola has however got a great problem up top, with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both in brilliant goal scoring form. The manager has got a big choice to make but I feel we will see Sergio Aguero start purely for his prolific big game record.
Substitutes: Aro Muric, Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus. A bunch of options for Guardiola to change the game if needed.
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