Manchester City will host West Ham United on Wednesday in the first of their two games in hand over Premier League title rivals Arsenal.
City need a win in just one of those two games – the second being a trip to Brighton later this month – to oust Arsenal at the top of the table. Of the two, there’s no doubt Pep Guardiola will be more confident for this one.
Here’s the lineup the boss could opt for.
GK: Ederson – No clean sheets from five Premier League games in April will leave Ederson desperate for a better May.
CB: Manuel Akanji – After filling in on the left side in recent weeks, Akanji should get the chance to shift over to the right again.
CB: Ruben Dias – Like Ederson, Dias played every minute of those five games in April. More clean sheets are needed.
CB: Nathan Ake – Back in training and raring to go, Ake’s return to the team is huge. A Player of the Year contender if he played on any team other than City.
DM: John Stones – There’ll be a tough physical battle against West Ham’s midfield so Stones will have to be up for the fight.
DM: Rodri – A subtle master of the dark arts, expect some chaos from Rodri up against Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
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RM: Bernardo Silva – With Kevin De Bruyne out injured, Silva’s eye for a pass could give him the edge over Riyad Mahrez.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – Is this the best form of Gundogan we’ve seen ever? Probably.
CM: Julian Alvarez – After a scorcher of a performance against Fulham, Alvarez has earned himself another start.
LM: Jack Grealish – Another who will have to step up the creativity in De Bruyne’s absence.
ST: Erling Haaland – Haaland needs just one more goal to secure the Premier League’s all-time scoring record and you’d fancy his chances of getting that (and then some) here.