Premier League football is back. Finally.
Manchester City are kicking off their season with hopes of being the first team to win three consecutive Premier League titles since the 2008/2009 season. They begin by travelling to London to face West Ham.
The week preceding Manchester City’s opening premier league fixture has brought two incidents with conflicting outcomes. Firstly, last weekend’s Wembley win gives the team a mental boost before a long and arduous season ahead. However, Leroy Sane’s ACL injury, sustained in the first half of that game, has ruled him out for six months.
In other team news, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte are returning following their absence in the Community Shield, but new man Joao Cancelo isn’t ready for first-team action. “Not Cancelo – not yet,” Pep said on the Portuguese fullback. “He arrived two days ago.
As for West Ham, their fan-favourite goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski returned to training this week. Their only absentee through injury is Mark Noble who, after the signing of Pablo Fornals, will be struggling for minutes as it is with the likes of Jack Wilshere.
PREDICTED STARTING XI
As for the predicted XI, we can safely say Ederson will start in goal. If not, my fantasy football team won’t be best pleased. As mentioned, Cancelo’s late arrival means Kyle Walker is set to start at right-back. Aymeric Laporte and John Stones should start in the centre of defence. The left side of the Blues’ defence should see the long-awaited return (again) of Benjamin Mendy within the coming weeks, but for now, Oleksandr Zinchenko should start there at the London Stadium.
The midfield three, I think, is a bit harder to predict. Rodri‘s good performance at Wembley gives him a spot for the match in my opinion, especially as Fernandinho wasn’t pictured travelling with the squad. Kevin De Bruyne is another safe bet. One of the two Silvas will most likely take the last remaining spot, keeping Ilkay Gundogan, who signed a new contract with the club this week, on the substitute bench. For me, David Silva should take position aside De Bruyne instead of Bernardo.
Leading the line, I predict Sergio Aguero to return to action while Bernardo Silva and Wembley scorer Raheem Sterling should partner the Argentine out wide.
City Xtra Predicted Starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Stones, Zinchenko, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero
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