Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne are back in training and City have Doctor Ramon Cugat to thank after the two paid him a visit in Barcelona before the international break. I think we all appreciate the lack of timelines when it comes to Kompany but it’s anybody’s guess whether De Bruyne will be taking part against Everton as one eye will obviously be on Barcelona mid-week.
Nolito is finally eligible to play after completing his three match ban for his head butt against Bournemouth however, Fabian Delph will continue his conspicuous disappearances from match-day squads. Elsewhere, Bacary Sagna has been ruled out for three weeks following a thigh injury sustained on international duty while Raheem Sterling should be fully fit after his precautionary absence from the England squad.
Bacary Sagna’s injury means that Pablo Zabaleta is unfortunately a dead certainty to start tomorrow, which is a real worry considering the quality Everton have in wide areas. Bolasie, Mirallas and Deulofeu are all tricky wingers who could really hurt Zabaleta in one on one situations. And that’s before we even begin to think about him playing against Neymar in midweek.
Gael Clichy is a good bet to play at left-back, especially after Kolarov’s recent outings. Aleks Kolarov’s lack of pace was exposed by Spurs’ physical midfield and thus it’s probably time he had a rest. The Serbian has played a lot of football so far this season, more than any other player in the squad.
The big question mark is who of Aguero, De Bruyne and Sterling will start. My guess is that Aguero and Sterling will, with De Bruyne only good enough for the bench. Nolito should come back in on the left hand side, which is a real boost, leaving Navas and Sané to fight it out for the right wing berth. Navas could be preferred because of his defensive diligence and the protection he will give Zabaleta, but I feel this could be the first we see Sané from the start in the league. Coming off the back of an excellent performance for Germany’s U21s, Sané should be in good shape for tomorrow’s game.
In midfield I think that Silva and Gundogan will start in front of Fernandinho. Gundogan played 15 and then 45 minutes for Germany in the international break which would’ve done his fitness no harm.
With that in mind, here is how I think City will line up against Everton:
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