It’s now four wins in fifteen for City, and the vultures are circling over Pep Guardiola. Seven points off leaders Chelsea, this is another of those “must-win” games. City fans will demand desire and the ability to put a bad week behind them. If the home team does not go for the jugular right from the off, then frustrations and nerves will quickly mount, especially as it is almost three months since City won a league game at home.
Aguero and Fernandinho Still Absent
As you’re probably aware, two of City’s most important players will sit out match two of their ban period. The annoyance remains that at a time of few injuries, the team has instead been hampered by sheer stupidity.
Otamendi is back in contention after a one-match suspension served against Leicester, and for all the criticism of him after the Chelsea match, it is still a plus to have him back, when the options are playing ageing full-backs alongside John Stones instead.
As per previous previews, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph have, for all intents and purposes ceased to exist.
A fruitless game to play, but my feeling is that Nolito and Sterling should feature after being benched at the weekend, and that Fernando may be seem as surplus to requirements. But who knows? It’s just as probable that Fernando could start and someone as lauded as Silva could drop out. He could also play without a recognised striker, with Iheanacho yet to sparkle as a starter.
The hunch is though that Pep reverts to a back four and plays De Bruyne centrally, with an attacking line up.
To concede naturally, but with a late surge, I fancy a 3-1 victory for City.
Here is how I think City will line up:
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