Match Coverage

Predicted Man City XI vs. Bournemouth: Silva for Silva as Pep persists with the 3-5-2

In spite of the different talking points compared to last season, it remains as tough as ever to correctly predict a Pep Guardiola side. Although City dropped points on Monday against Everton, Pep spoke of his satisfaction with the performance with 10 men and therefore whilst you’d maybe have thought that changes for this Saturday’s game with Bournemouth were inevitable, it could be that City line up in a similar style to their previous two league games.

A goalkeeping change is unlikely despite the recent and unfair criticism of Ederson, but City are forced into making a change at right-back with Kyle Walker missing Saturday’s game through suspension. For this reason expect Danilo to start in a much more natural right-back position anchoring a three-man central defence of John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi. Deciding on City’s left-back could be Guardiola’s biggest headache however, as although Benjamin Mendy will travel with the squad for the trip to Bournemouth, match fitness could mean his debut could come from the bench. Consequently whilst there is always the improbable option of either Stones, Otamendi or even Fernandinho filling in on the left side of defence, despite criticism over his selection in such a position, Leroy Sané may well be used in the same role as on Monday.

In midfield Fernandinho would seem the preferred anchorman ahead of Yaya Touré, but after an impressive cameo off the bench on Monday could Bernardo Silva makes his full Premier League debut? It could be a case of one Silva in, one Silva out with the Portuguese midfielder in a starting position against Bournemouth alongside Kevin De Bruyne. As for going forward I still think Pep is keen on starting with two forwards up top and should persevere with a strike pairing of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, although I do agree Sterling perhaps warrants a starting position after a game changing appearance off the bench on Monday.

The Team

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