NINE changes; Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake return – Predicted XI: Manchester City v Marseille (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester City entertain Ligue 1 side Marseille in the final game of the UEFA Champions League group stage, with a much changed side expected to feature.

The most recent match saw City confirm their status as group winners, courtesy of a 0-0 draw away at FC Porto. Our opponents, however, will be hoping to secure at least a point in order to give themselves a chance of finishing third ahead of Olympiakos – thereby qualifying for the Europa League knockout stages. 

Pep Guardiola’s press conference has helped to shed some light on who may feature tomorrow, so here’s our best guess at the eleven players he’ll opt to start. 

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Once top spot was confirmed, we expected that Zack Steffen would be handed an opportunity to start in goal. Well, Guardiola has kindly confirmed that is the case, so we’ll get to see the US international between the posts tomorrow. 

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(Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Picking the defence is a tough call. I expect at least three changes from the Fulham line-up. At right-back, I think we might see Joao Cancelo continue, with Kyle Walker given a chance to fully rest for the derby on Saturday. If Eric Garcia starts I’m going to punch a wall. Putting that horrible thought aside, Aymeric Laporte should feature after being uninvolved for the past four games, and Nathan Ake will make a welcome return following his hamstring injury. At left-back, Benjamin Mendy will almost certainly sit this one out against his former club, with Oleksandr Zinchenko making his second start of the season. 

Now, onto the midfield. Rodri has featured a lot recently, so you’d expect club captain Fernandinho to prowl the pitch tomorrow. Alongside him, I’m hopeful we could see a rare start for Tommy Doyle. He impressed against Bournemouth earlier in the season, and fully deserves an opportunity. Completing the trio will be Bernardo Silva. City fans are desperate to see the popular Portuguese star recapture his 2018/19 form, and tomorrow is a chance to build up some momentum.

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 (Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

In the front three, we’ll surely see Phil Foden, who was uninvolved against Fulham, much to the annoyance of many City fans and to my Fantasy Premier League team. Keep an eye on Foden – he’ll be eager to put himself in contention for a start against United (spoiler: Pep won’t start him though). Guardiola has stated Sergio Aguero could feature tomorrow, but it will only be from the bench. Gabriel Jesus will therefore start, as a goal before the derby could boost his confidence. The final position will go to Ferran Torres, who, like Foden, sat out the Fulham match. 

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You can follow Mark on Twitter here: @MDGough96

Follow us on Twitter for live match coverage: @City_Xtra

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