Manchester City visit newly-promoted Huddersfield on Sunday looking for yet another win to continue their record-breaking season…
But David Wagner’s side will have no intention of rolling over. After already claiming Manchester United’s scalp this term, the Terriers will believe they can be the team to put an improbable end to Pep’s effervescent attacking machine. Without further ado, here’s my predicted City team for the thirteenth (unlucky for some) game of the Premier League season…
Other than long-term absentee Benjamin Mendy and the recently-injured John Stones, Guardiola should have his full team available for the clash at Huddersfield barring any last-minute injuries. Youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz are expected to be available following their first-team debuts in midweek, while Vincent Kompany is also fit after returning against Leicester City last week.
In goal, it’ll once again be E- you know what? I’m bored of predicting Ederson will start every time I predict the team. Let’s just say Pep is going to chuck Mangala between the sticks, just for the hell of it. Let’s mix things up. No? Fine. Ederson in goal. Again. It’s probably fair enough considering he may well be the best ‘keeper in the league on current form.
The defence pretty much picks itself. Kyle Walker, the best right-back in England bar none in my view, lines up on one side while Fabian Delph is the obvious choice to continue what was recently described in the media as a ‘passable David Alaba impersonation’ at left-back. In the middle, who else but Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi? There’s a chance Guardiola will opt with Eliaquim Mangala in place of the former, in order to minimise Kompany’s risk of injury, but I would be surprised to see Pep take the risk – and after all, the skipper was rested for the Frenchman on Tuesday night.
Fernandinho in the centre of the park – enough said. Really, I can’t think of anything else to add that I haven’t covered before. In front of him, the dynamic duo of David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will look to continue putting the rest of the league to shame with their incredible assist rates.
Up top, we’ll surely be seeing Leroy Sané, who was rested on Tuesday, starting against Huddersfield – and the same surely goes for Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian is really making a name for himself, even if he is developing a somewhat harsh reputation as a ‘tap-in merchant’. Personally, I prefer the term ‘close-range specialist’. And besides, we’d all rather have Jesus scoring 25 tap-ins a season than Coutinho or Shaqiri managing five wonder-goals a term. On the right it can only be Raheem Sterling, who’s still our top scorer in this campaign.
With that, the bench is an easy one: Claudio Bravo, Danilo, Eliaquim Mangala, Yaya Touré, Ilkay Gündoğan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Agüero are my picks to make up the substitutes for Guardiola, who will surely have the upcoming Southampton and Huddersfield matches in mind.