Guardiola previews Man City’s match against Newcastle
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Manchester City take on Newcastle United at the Eithad today as the Sky Blues look to close the gap to Arsenal at the top of the Premier League. Pep Guardiola could be set to ring the changes again as he seeks to keep his players fresh as they continue to fight for three trophies. Here Express Sport predicts how the Citizens may lineup with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte returning from injury.
The Brazilian is Guardiola’s clear first choice between the sticks and will start again at the Eithad. He is chasing his 100th clean sheet in the Premier League and will hope to retrieve it against Newcastle.
There may be change on the bench, however. Stefan Ortega suffered a hand injury against Bristol City in the FA Cup meaning former England ‘keeper Scott Carson could make a rare appearance on the sidelines.
Defence: Kyle Walker, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake
Rico Lewis started in midweek but Guardiola may look to the experience of Walker with the Magpies posing a stronger challenge on paper. Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji have both started each of the last three so the Spaniard may take the opportunity to give them both a rest with Laporte and Stones returning to fitness.
City’s options at left-back are limited so Ake may continue in the position. The Dutchman provides the best balance with the likes of Bernardo Silva and Sergio Gomez not offering the same stability defensively.
Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan
Rodri has been one of the first names on the team sheet for Guardiola this season and the Spanish international should return to the lineup after being rested in midweek.
De Bruyne has returned to top form recently and as a result should be given a starting spot. The third man is more difficult to predict Gundogan may be more likely having been the victim of rotation in mid-week however it would be no surprise if Silva played instead.
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Forwards: Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland, Phil Foden
Haaland needs no introduction and is a near certainity to start so long as he does not pick up any late injuries. It is more difficult to predict who will play on either side but Grealish is a good bet. The England international was rotated against Bristol City but has made a number of important contributions in the Premier League this season and should return.
Foden has hit a run of form after a long spell out of favour and Guardiola may seek to help him continue this run. Riyad Mahrez and Silva are alternative options if he decides to do something different.
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