The Sky Blues have been all over the place this season and can be considered fortunate to be 14th on the table. On any other day, a slightly more clinical Wolves or Leeds would have put City to the sword and Pep will know that his team is teetering uncomfortably on the edge of being ruled out of the title race as early as Matchday 5.
Injuries haven’t helped matters though. City have been without more than half of their first team members till now and those absences see another addition in the form of their best player, Kevin de Bruyne.
So, Manchester City have their task cut out for Saturday and will need the available players to rise to the occasion.
PREDICTED MANCHESTER CITY LINEUP vs ARSENAL (4-3-3)
Kevin de Bruyne is out of the ‘next games’ according to Guardiola. Sergio Aguero has trained this week and is in need of match rhythm but we sense there could be a surprise on that front.
Gabriel Jesus is still out while Ilkay Gundogan should be able to participate after completing the mandatory COVID 19 isolation period.
Ederson will start in goal. His shot-stopping was excellent against Leeds but he cannot let the mistake for the goal play on his mind anymore.
Kyle Walker will start as the right-back in the Manchester City lineup. Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte select themselves as the centre-back pairing. The duo had a solid first game against Leeds and will look to build on their decent start.
Left-back has been a problem area for the Sky Blues. First choice left-back Benjamin Mendy has been poor. Defensively atrocious and offensively barely passable. There is a chance that Joao Cancelo might be preferred over him even though we feel the Frenchman might be handed a few more opportunities before being dropped.
Rodri will start at the base of midfield. He has been found wanting in a couple of aspects of the game and has to work on his positioning when his team is on the backfoot.
With Kevin de Bruyne missing, Pep will want someone to control the game in midfield which is why we could see Ilkay Gundogan slot straight back into the Manchester City lineup.
Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva are options for the third midfield role with the duo equipped to provide energy and an attacking outlet in the final third as well.
Raheem Sterling could be asked to play up front once again. He has looked his best on the wings but Sergio Aguero might not be handed a start right away after being out of action for almost 5 months.
Riyad Mahrez is expected to start on the right-wing in the Manchester City lineup while Ferran Torres could be handed a start on the left.
MANCHESTER CITY LINEUP