Premier League leaders Manchester City will face off against Stoke City at the Etihad later today. It will surely be a crucial game, as the teams will get back to club football after the international break.
It will not be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination for Pep Guardiola’s side, as Stoke have been in good form so far this season, especially against the big sides.
Here is how the Manchester-based side should lineup for the game against the Potters :
Formation : 4-3-3
Has looked good in goal and hasn’t conceded in 7 games for his team in various competitions. He has looked confident and Pep will be expecting more of the same from him.
RB: Kyle Walker
Walker seems to have settled perfectly into his new side and will look to do more of the same.
CB: John Stones
Once again the England international will be expected to start at the centre of the defensive line. He is a high-quality player who has slowly regained his confidence and hopefully he can help his team win some major titles soon.
CB: Nicolas Otamendi
The Argentine international has looked strong at the back and is more of the leader now. He is always energetic and is a threat from set-pieces, which might be a worry for Stoke.
The former Real Madrid man can surely give the Stoke wingers a run for their money with his pace and ability. Hopefully, he can once again create some chances for his team and even score goals.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne
The attacker has been in sublime form and his link-up play with some of his other team-mates has been brilliant. Hopefully, he can keep scoring goals as the season progresses and the game against Stoke could be a good opportunity for that to happen.
CM: David Silva
The Spaniard was suspended for Spain’s second game and hence will be fresh and raring to go.
The rock in front of the defensive line and will look to break down the opposition attacks in the match. His body strength will be something that his team will surely need in this match to compete against Mark Hughes’ physical side.
LW: Leroy Sane
He should dominate the flanks along with his attacking team-mates up front on the left-hand side. Stoke will have a tough time keeping him quiet and preventing him from getting on the score-sheet.
RW: Raheem Sterling
Though Sterling is still not the best player that City have at the moment (based on overall form), he has really improved and is looking sharp enough to claim a place in the starting eleven. If he continues to play like this, he could really make a major impact this season.
CF: Gabriel Jesus
With Aguero unlikely to start, Pep has the ideal replacement for his star striker and Gabriel Jesus has surely not disappointed his manager in the opportunities given thus far. The visitors will have to be careful that they do not give him too much time and space.