Tuesday night’s big win against Atalanta should see Pep Guardiola’s team push on in the Premier League this weekend to secure their second consecutive league win.
City welcome Aston Villa to the Etihad in a fixture that has favoured the Blues in recent history, having won five out of the last six encounters between the teams. Here’s how we predict Manchester City will line-up against the Premier League newcomers…
Team News and Injuries
Where to start with this one? Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane remain sidelined, of course, while two fresh pieces of injury news have come this week. Rodri sustained an injury during the European tie in midweek, which Guardiola has said will keep him out until after the international break.
Earlier today, Oleksandr Zinchenko posted an Instagram update directly from his hospital bed in Barcelona, which his manager confirmed was the result of a knee injury sustained in training. The initial prognosis puts his recovery time at “about 4-5 weeks“.
Ederson, as always, will resume his place between the sticks. Kyle Walker has recently returned from an illness and played 90 minutes, but I’m banking on João Cancelo to take his place this weekend. Both Stones and Otamendi returned to action in midweek, but the latter only played the final half-hour. I would predict John Stones to line up alongside Fernandinho in central defence, as the pair should sustain and control possession well, while also containing the dangerous Wesley. Benjamin Mendy should once again start on the left-hand side of the defence.
Onto the midfield; Ilkay Gundogan continues to impress in the number six role so I’d bet on him staying there. Kevin de Bruyne is, unsurprisingly, playing fantastically so barring Pep’s unpredictable rotation strategies, he should be a no-brainer to start tomorrow. As for his midfield partner – David Silva didn’t stray from the bench on Tuesday night, so his rested legs should do a good job alongside the Belgian.
Raheem Sterling will surely continue his run of Premier League starts that stretches to the start of the season. His European hat-trick will certainly help his cause, too. Despite Riyad Mahrez playing a big role in a couple of goals on Tuesday night, Bernardo Silva didn’t see any game time against Atalanta so I’d put him ahead of the Algerian to start against Villa. Sergio Aguero netted a brace against the Italians, but controversially, I’m backing Gabriel Jesus to get the nod. His odds are certainly helped by his goal and impressive performance against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Substitutes: Bravo, Walker, Otamendi, Angeliño, Foden, Mahrez, Aguero.
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