Having already secured the Carabao Cup this season, Manchester City continue their bid to retain another domestic trophy tonight as they face Arsenal in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
In the week that they won their appeal against a two-year ban from UEFA competitions, thus paving the way for them to return to the Champions League next season, City will hope to maintain the positive mood by reaching what would be their sixth domestic cup final (not including the Community Shield) since 2016.
Pep Guardiola got the better of his former assistant Mikel Areta when their respective teams met in the Premier League a month ago, taking Man City’s consecutive run of wins over Arsenal to seven in all competitions, although the Gunners came out on top when the sides met at this juncture of the FA Cup three years ago.
Sergio Aguero is the only confirmed injury absentee for Guardiola, who could take the opportunity to switch up his team again from the midweek win over Bournemouth. Here is our predicted Manchester City XI for the match tonight, which shows five changes from the side that started on Wednesday:
Claudio Bravo has been Guardiola’s goalkeeper of choice for domestic cup competitions and could come in to give Ederson a rare night off. With the manager likely to go with a strong XI given that there is nothing more at stake in the Premier League, the full-back duo of Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker should be retained. John Stones could also keep his place after a strong performance in midweek, although Aymeric Laporte may be his centre-back partner tonight rather than Nicolas Otamendi.
Who should be Man City's starting goalkeeper against Arsenal?
Fernandinho seems likely to get the nod ahead of Rodri at the base of midfield, with David Silva also a probable starter following his magnificent free kick against the Cherries. Kevin De Bruyne should also come into the side after sitting out the win over Bournemouth, with Ilkay Gundogan the man to make way in midfield.
Guardiola may shuffle the pack with his attacking trio. Gabriel Jesus is again set to start at centre-forward, buoyed by what turned out to be the winning goal on Wednesday, although there could be changes either side of him. Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva both started in midweek, so both might drop out in deference to Raheem Sterling on the left and Riyad Mahrez on the right respectively.
The options are plentiful for Guardiola – it’s just a matter of him deciding what is his strongest team as he hunts down a ninth piece of silverware as Manchester City manager.
Man City fans, is this the team that you would pick for tonight? What changes would you like to see? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience