Midfield Maestro To Return? Predicted Manchester City Lineup To Face Cardiff City

Manchester City may have faced a small blip at Anfield but they are well on their way to their first league title under Pep Guardiola. The 3-1 victory over Newcastle United, followed by a League Cup victory in the semi-finals over Bristol City, has given Guardiola a chance to win more than one silverware and their trip to Cardiff City Stadium this weekend will give them a chance to progress in a third competition.

City, who beat Burnley in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, were drawn against Cardiff City and Guardiola will want to get things done in the first leg itself. The Bluebirds needed replays to beat Mansfield in the previous round and are favourites to lose. Here is the predicted lineup Guardiola might field for this tie:

Team News:

Guardiola revealed that the likes of Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Fabian Delph and Benjamin Mendy are all sidelined for this game. Kyle Walker, who suffered a head collision in the League Cup game against Bristol City, is however fine and available for selection.

Expected lineup (4-3-3):


The manager has used Ederson extensively in the league and UCL, giving Claudio Bravo a chance in the domestic cup games. This FA Cup tie will see Bravo start under the bar like he did against Bristol City earlier in the week. Nicolas Otamendi has been the backbone of this City defence and deserves a rest. This could see both Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala start at CB for this game.

With Delph out of action, Oleksandr Zinchenko is expected to start at left-back while Danilo, who is struggling to break into the first team, should retain his place at right-back this weekend.


Fernandinho put in a decent shift against Bristol City earlier in the week and deserves the rest. This should see Yaya Toure play as the deepest of the midfielders against Cardiff City. Ilkay Gundogan who came off the bench in the League Cup semi-final should start this game in the midfield for his side.

To add some creativity and spark to the midfield, Guardiola could use David Silva in the midfield alongside Toure and Gundogan this weekend.


Bernardo Silva has also seen first-team game time hard to come by. But he will get his chance to impress in this FA Cup fixture. He should start on the right flank, giving Raheem Sterling a break. Leroy Sane, who has been one of the best attackers in the league this season, is expected to keep his place on the left wing.

With Gabriel Jesus out injured, Sergio Aguero remains the only option for Guardiola, to lead the attack.

Here is how they might line up:

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