Last weekend saw Manchester City pick up all three points at the Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth in a 3-1 win. This week sees the visit of Graham Potter’s Brighton to the Etihad stadium.
Without coming as too much of a surprise to many, VAR played its part again in the match, once again, not going in City’s favour. Without being as significant a decision as the denial of Gabriel Jesus’ last minute winner against Spurs, what looked like to have been an obvious penalty for a foul on David Silva was waved away by VAR.
But the win against Bournemouth was the most important aspect of the day, getting back on a winning streak after dropping points against Spurs. Now its Brighton’s turn to play City.
Just before kick off at Bournemouth, it was announced that Jesus injured his hamstring in the pre match warm up and would not be available to play again until after the international break.
John Stones returned to training this week after sustaining a slight muscle injury the previous week. However, Pep said in his pre-match press conference that Stones and Jesus could possibly make their return in the upcoming Norwich game.
Benjamin Mendy also continues to train but there has been no indication of when he will get back to the first XI.
CITY XTRA PREDICTED XI
I think its safe to say that Ederson will be keeping his position in the team this week. My guess for the backline would be the same as it was for Bournemouth, with Walker, Otamendi, Laporte and Zinchenko all keeping their place. However, Joao Cancelo did make his first appearance for City at Bournemouth, replacing Walker in the last few minutes of the match. So, it would not be a huge surprise to see the Portuguese right back make his first start for City at the Etihad this weekend.
I think there will be some changes in midfield this week. Although Rodri did not start at the Vitality last weekend, the impact he made on the team when he came on in the second half was immense. So, I would imagine Rodri will start and be an important player this weekend.
For the rest of the midfield I expect to see Rodri play alongside Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. Both midfield maestros played a big part in the win at Bournemouth so I don’t see why either would be replaced.
In the attacking positions, I am fairly certain (and hopeful for my fantasy team) Sterling and Agüero will start. Both of whom scored in the win at Bournemouth.
As for the other attacking position, as of right now I am 50-50 whether Pep will go for Bernardo Silva or Riyad Mahrez to play right wing. Right now, if I had to choose one to play, I think Mahrez will start ahead of Bernardo. His previous display against Brighton went pretty well, scoring an absolute stunner to help City secure the title at the Amex on the final day of last season.
Manchester City Bench: Claudio Bravo, Joao Cancelo, Angelino, Ilkay Gundogan, Fernandinho, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva
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