Manchester City will be looking to close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening.
Pep Guardiola’s side were frustrated by Everton at the Etihad last time out but weren’t punished by the Gunners, as they were also held at home by high-flying Newcastle United.
The trip to London to face Graham Potter’s side kickstarts an extremely difficult run for the Citizens which includes Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, both home and away, in the next four league games, so three points should be viewed as a must against a struggling Chelsea side.
Here is how Football FanCast expects Guardiola to line his side up in west London.
It includes five changes to the side that started against Everton last time out.
Ederson could do absolutely nothing about Demarai Gray’s incredible equaliser for Everton at the Etihad, so he keeps his place in between the sticks.
John Stones and Nathan Ake are the only survivors in defence, with the latter moving inside to centre-back in order to accommodate the return of Joao Cancelo at left-back at the expense of Manuel Akanji, while Kyle Walker comes in for Rico Lewis on the right.
After a surprisingly lacklustre display against the Toffees, which saw him earn a 6.37 rating from WhoScored, the “world-class” Bernardo Silva – as dubbed by Dion Dublin – also drops to the bench, with Ilkay Gundogan coming in as the Portuguese maestro’s replacement.
He partners Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri in midfield, with the former no doubt looking to do the damage against his former side once again.
There are two changes out wide, as Julian Alvarez makes his first start since his impressive performances at the World Cup with Argentina, while Phil Foden also returns to the side, with Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez relegated to the bench.
Foden and Alvarez support Erling Haaland, with the Norweigian looking to stretch his lead at the top of the charts with another goal at Stamford Bridge this evening. At present, the attacking sensation has a remarkable 27 goals in 21 appearances this term.