Manchester City travel to face Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in a hotly anticipated game on Sunday afternoon. Whilst City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title are effectively over, Guardiola will hope for form to improve with important Champions League fixtures and a League Cup final on the horizon.
Here’s how we think City will line-up in North London…
Leroy Sané is back in training; however, the German will not be featuring against last year’s Champions League runners-up. Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho’s involvement is also unlikely, with both players recovering from knocks that kept them out in midweek.
Barring a last-minute injury, Ederson looks certain to start in goal. In defence, Kyle Walker is expected to line-up against his former side at right-back. With Mendy likely to be missing, and Angeliño leaving the club on deadline day, Pep may look to Oleksandr Zinchenko to plug the hole at left-back.
In the centre of defence, I think we may see Aymeric Laporte return to the side. The Frenchman played very well in his first game back following a lengthy lay-off at Brammall Lane; but since then, Laporte has missed City’s two recent cup games through ‘fatigue’. With Fernandinho’s fitness still being monitored by the club, Laporte will most likely be accompanied by Nicolas Otamendi. The Argentine’s selection is mainly due to the fact Guardiola may not want to play a returning Laporte alongside a relatively poorly-performing John Stones, or an experience-lacking Eric Garcia
Whilst Rodri is often one of the first names on the team sheet, Mourinho’s Tottenham are a side that generally play quite deep against attack-minded set-ups. With this, Pep may look to start Ilkay Gundogan in the heart of the midfield given his superior passing and composure on the ball. Kevin de Bruyne will surely be ahead of the German and partnered by David Silva. Our captain had a moment to forget against Manchester United on Wednesday, but his class and skill are undeniable, whilst his prowess in small spaces may prove key in unlocking an expected defensive Mourinho set-up.
Gabriel Jesus is in good form and will surely start the game with Sergio Aguero playing 93 minutes of Wednesday’s Manchester derby. Out-wide, Riyad Mahrez has been in fantastic form in recent weeks and will surely feature against Tottenham. On the opposite flank, expect Raheem Sterling to retain his place in the side despite his goalscoring form being less than stellar since December.
SUBSTITUTES: Bravo, Stones, Rodri, Cancelo, Bernardo, Foden, Aguero
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