Predicted Team: Manchester City vs Bournemouth (Premier League)

Danny Lardner

Manchester City welcome Bournemouth to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League following two consecutive 5-0 victories in their last two games.

Eddie Howe's relegation-threatened side incredibly won 4-1 last time out against Champions League-chasing Leicester City, who have been shaky since the restart of Premier League football. Despite their fortunes last weekend, Bournemouth have conceded a total of 14 goals since the return, including four against Newcastle and five against Manchester United.

With Saturday's FA Cup Semi-Final fast approaching, Guardiola's team selection will need to consider the threat of Bournemouth's desire to escape the bottom three, while also resting key players for this weekend - a tie that could help City on their path to potentially win three trophies this season.

With that balance in mind, here's how we think Pep will line up the side...

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(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)


Predicted Team:

Ederson will start in goal, after making a total of one save in his last two games. I think João Cancelo will return to the right-back, with the crucial Kyle Walker being rested for the weekend. Cancelo's attacking strengths will surely come in handy for the game, however the Portuguese international has been heavily linked with a move away from the club in recent months. 

On the left-hand side, I would bet on Oleksandr Zinchenko making an appearance. The Ukrainian international has been criticised for his performances in recent weeks, especially for his ultimately game-deciding mistake against Southampton. However, a good showing against Eddie Howe's side might go some way towards redemption in the eyes of City fans ahead of a potentially busy summer for the club in the transfer market.

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L(GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

In the centre of defence, I would go for John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. While the pair have been scrutinised a fair bit this season, both Aymeric Laporte and young Eric Garcia will need some rest before this weekend's crucial fixture. 

I'm hoping for another return to midfield for Fernandinho. The Brazilian has played a significant part of this season in the heart of City's defence due to the departure of Vincent Kompany as well as Laporte's long-term injury. 

Phil Foden will likely be deployed in midfield, after failing to start in City's previous three games. Rounding off the midfield trio is Ilkay Gündogan; he to hasn't started a game in the league since City's magnificent 4-0 win over champions Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling will probably appear on the left-wing, following his hat-trick against Brighton. With that being said, I wouldn't be surprised to see the 25-year-old taken off in the second half to keep him fresh for the Arsenal game. On the right, I'd bet on Bernardo Silva starting. Despite playing the full 90 minutes last weekend, I think Guardiola will be desperate to rest the recently brilliant Riyad Mahrez. 

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(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Leading the line will almost certainly be Gabriel Jesus. With the knee injury sustained by Sergio Agüero keeping him out until the Real Madrid Champions League tie at the earliest.

That team would leave the bench looking something like this; Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Rodrigo, Tommy Doyle, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Riyad Mahrez.


You can follow Danny on Twitter here: @dannyldnr

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