Just days after tasting his heaviest defeat this season, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will take part in one of the most awaited games of the season this weekend. In a game where the Citizens can lift the Premier League title, Manchester City welcome local rivals Manchester United, with both teams separated by 16 points. City can be crowned champions of England against their arch-rivals, in front of their home fans but the result against Liverpool at Anfield in the first leg of the QF of the Champions League means that the manager might be tempted to rest a few players for this crunch clash.
They welcome Liverpool on Tuesday in the return leg and it is assumed by many that they might make a few changes to their first team. But a chance to win the title in front of their home crowd cannot be ignored and Pep will surely field a strong XI.
Manchester United are fresh from an easy win over Swansea City and have now won six of their last games and will believe that they can take more than just a point from this game, with City’s concentration more on the Liverpool game. But they will not accept a loss against the rivals and here is the predicted lineup City might play for this tie.
In early team news, the league leaders are still without the services of Benjamin Mendy, who remains the only absentee ahead of this game. Sergio Aguero is back in training and could be fit enough to at least make the bench.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Ederson let in three goals at Anfield and will be low on confidence going into this game. He will start under the bar while John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, who played at left-back against Liverpool are both expected to start as a CB partnership this weekend.
Kyle Walker might be rested, giving Danilo a run at right-back while Oleksandr Zinchenko is expected to start at left-back against the Red Devils.
Ilkay Gundogan had a night to forget at Anfield and might be used in the midfield for this game, giving Fernandinho some rest. Fabian Delph might play in the no.6 role while Kevin de Bruyne might keep his place in the midfield, to add some creativity to Manchester City’s midfield.
Raheem Sterling only came off the bench at Anfield and might be used from the start on the left flank while Bernardo Silva might be entrusted with duties on the right flank. Sergio Aguero should not be risked, leaving Gabriel Jesus to lead the attack once again.
Here is how they might line up: