July 25, 2021

“Exceptional” gem starts, Pep axes Sterling in 5 changes: Predicted Manchester City XI – opinion

2 min read
Manchester City return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they take on Leicester...

Manchester City return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they take on Leicester City away from home in their first game after the international break, and Pep Guardiola will know that three points will see his side take another huge step towards the title.

The Spanish manager could still win the quadruple with City this season but Leicester will undoubtedly be a tough test for his side, with the Foxes once again impressing under Brendan Rodgers this season as they currently occupy third place in the top-flight.

Leicester were superb in their 5-2 win at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season, with Jamie Vardy causing the City defence on that day all sorts of problems. However, since Guardiola introduced a centre-back partnership of Ruben Dias and John Stones, his side have looked impenetrable at times.

It seems as if City have a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the game at the King Power Stadium, although plenty of Guardiola’s players featured heavily in the international break, so we may well see some rotation from the former Barcelona boss.

Here’s how Football FanCast expects the Spaniard to line his side up on Saturday, with five changes from the team which started against Everton in City’s last game…

Ederson replaces Zack Steffen in goal after the USA international made a rare appearance in the FA Cup win at Goodison Park.

There’s one change in the defence as Joao Cancelo replaces Kyle Walker at right-back, with Aymeric Laporte continuing alongside Ruben Dias after John Stones played the full 90 minutes against Poland for England in midweek.

Rodri comes in for Fernandinho in defensive midfield to partner Ilkay Gundogan, with the “exceptional” Kevin De Bruyne returning to the starting XI after some impressive performances for Belgium recently, as well as his goal from the bench against the Toffees last time out, as he replaces Bernardo Silva.

Riyad Mahrez also returns to the side in place of Raheem Sterling, who is dropped to the bench, with Phil Foden moving to the left-hand side to accommodate the Algerian on the right against his former club, and they support birthday boy Gabriel Jesus in the attack.

In other news… Bye-bye Laporte: Txiki should seal Man City swoop for “top-class” £67.5m-rated beast

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