Manchester City are back in action after a break of almost three weeks and have a series of crucial games coming up. The next five matches see them visit Merseyside twice, welcome United and Liverpool at the Etihad, and then go off to Wembley to play Spurs.
Rotation to keep the players fresh will be important but Guardiola will want to play his best team as much as he can. With the league title in the bag, he should be prioritizing the Champions League but lets see how he approaches the match against Everton at Goodison Park.
Everton are the only team that City have failed to beat in the league this season and the Blues will be looking to rectify that on Saturday. Most of the squad is fit and should be well rested after their vacation in Abu Dhabi. Notable absentees are John Stones, who has a concussion, and possibly Sergio Aguero, who is still recovering from a training knock he suffered just before the Stoke game.
Here’s my predicted team…
Ederson will play in goal and will be looking to keep his solid form going – maybe he can do enough over the remainder of the season to convince Brazil coach Tite to choose him over Allison in goal for the World Cup.
Kyle Walker was impressive for England at centre back but he will reprise his attacking full-back position in the City team, being joined by a fit-again Fabian Delph on the left side.
Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany should start the match so that they can share more valuable minutes on the pitch ahead of this crunch period and keep Cenk Tosun’s physicality in check.
In midfield, City fans can anticipate a return of Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva who form perhaps the best midfield trio in European football at the moment and have coincidentally dropped points only once this entire season in all competitions, in the reverse fixture at the Etihad against Everton.
Following his goal against Germany for Brazil during the week, Gabriel Jesus is likely to start up front with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané retaining their places on the wings.