Manchester City’s win over Arsenal last week was their first home match in just under four months but they are back at the Etihad Stadium for the second time in six days tonight as they play host to Burnley.
Pep Guardiola’s side resumed their Premier League campaign with a 3-0 romp over the Gunners and their status as champions looks set to be maintained for a little bit longer after Liverpool were held to a draw at Everton last night.
The Manchester City manager has almost a full squad at his disposal for tonight’s match against the Clarets, although he is set to be without two central defenders in John Stones and Eric Garcia, the latter suffering a concussion in the Arsenal game.
The Spanish youngster’s enforced absence is among three changes envisaged by Football Transfer Tavern in predicting Guardiola’s starting XI for tonight.
Ederson can be assured of his place in between the sticks while the defence in front of him shows one change from that which began the win over Arsenal. Full-backs Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker will probably keep their places, while the shortage of fully fit centre-backs means that Aymeric Laporte should be a nailed-on starter. With Garcia unable to feature tonight, Fernandinho will likely come back in to reprise the centre-back role he has carried out since the start of the season.
Two of the midfield berths should be straightforward enough to call. Kevin De Bruyne once again toyed with Arsenal while Ilkay Gundogan had a quietly effective game against the Gunners, so both ought to feel confident about retaining their places. However, as per Manchester Evening News, Guardiola is keen to keep his midfield fresh and could make one alteration in that area. Having started last Wednesday, 34-year-old David Silva might be the one to drop out, with Rodri coming into the side and playing the role of midfield anchor.
Guardiola has an abundance of riches in attack and could conceivably change his entire front three without discernibly making it weaker. As it is, we predict that he’ll make just the one alternation up front. Raheem Sterling should keep his place after getting back among the goals last week, while the manager could be reluctant to turn to Leroy Sane after the German insisted in recent days that he wants to leave this summer.
Riyad Mahrez probably did enough against Arsenal to keep his place on the right, although it would be no surprise if Bernardo Silva is given the nod. Sergio Aguero surprisingly didn’t start against the Gunners but, having had little more than 10 minutes off the bench, he should be fresh enough to feature from the first whistle tonight. That would see Gabriel Jesus dropping out to make way for him.
Trying to predict a Guardiola line-up carries the risk of leaving one appear foolish, based on his selections last week, although we reckon this will be the starting XI he chooses tonight.
Man City fans, what changes do you think Guardiola will make for tonight’s clash? Let us know in the comments section below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience