Manchester City visit the bitter rivals Manchester United on Saturday, and are at the center of this weekend’s Premier League matches.
Pep Guardiola’s side will be desperate for a positive result and put an end to a rather worrying – albeit very short – cycle in domestic affairs. They were dumped out of the League Cup for the first time in half a decade thanks to a penalty shootout loss to West Ham, before losing 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace in the Premier League last time out.
However, they blew Champions League opponents Club Brugge away in the middle of the week (again), and beat the Belgians 4-1 at the Etihad. Next up is a United team that is struggling and still recovering from humiliation at the hands of Liverpool – however, they are unbeaten in two games.
Here’s who Guardiola can line up to win at Old Trafford.
John Stones will be the likely replacement for Aymeric Laporte / Marc Atkins / GettyImages
Ederson (GK) – Was well beaten for both Palace goals last time but still has five zeros in the Premier League and will make sure to make it six at United.
Joao Cancelo (RB) – Kyle Walker is in doubt about this after limping out of the Champions League clash in the middle of the week. It can force a transformation.
John Stones (CB) – When Aymeric Laporte earns a suspension, the Stones will have the opportunity to reintroduce the midfield partnership that was so solid last campaign.
Ruben Dias (CB) – The undeniable presence in the heart of City’s backline, Dias is a sure starter for visitors on Saturday.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – Ukraine’s national team player got crucial minutes from the bench in the middle of the week after an injury start to the season. The alternative option here would be Nathan Ake.
We should see Kevin De Bruyne back in action / Marc Atkins / GettyImages
Rodri (DM) – Crucial to allowing Guardiola’s creative sparks the freedom to express themselves. His fight with Bruno Fernandes will prove crucial.
Bernardo Silva (CM) – With a really high level this semester, Silva looks fluid, sharp and brilliantly confident every time he touches the ball – it’s no wonder he has started his last 13 over the Premier League and Champions League.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – Ilkay Gundogan got the nod in the middle of the week, which means a probable start for a well-rested De Bruyne on Saturday.
A scary couple / Naomi Baker / GettyImages
Gabriel Jesus (RW) – Came in during the last 20 minutes against Bruges and scored a goal for good. In brilliant form this campaign, and will likely continue to be on the right in United.
Phil Foden (ST) – Was unusually absent when Palace visited Etihad, but managed to find the net last time and looks to be another start on Saturday.
Jack Grealish (LW) – Has only had time for an assist since mid-September, but is always so vital to create chances and assert the dominance of the front line over his opposition. An intelligent player and a probable start to the derby.
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