Finally, Manchester City are back in action against Fulham in the 12:30 kick off this Saturday. Even with the sheer excitement that is the England national team at the moment, it’s good to get back to club football.
What is even better is the fact that Pep Guardiola confirmed in his pre-match press conference that everyone who went away on international duty, has come back fit. The injury list now only contains the out-of-favour Fabian Delph and Claudio Bravo. That means Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Benjamin Mendy are all back available for selection at a crucial stage of the season.
So, here’s how we think the Blues will line-up against an out of form Fulham side.
CITY XTRA PREDICTED XI
Ederson featured in Brazil's opening game of 2019 and will return in goal. Oleksandr Zinchenko impressed with Ukraine on international duty in a slightly different defensive midfield role and his performances have earned him a place in the starting XI. Aymeric Laporte has had a week-long break and will slot straight back into the middle. Partnering him is a tough choice with the rest of the three central defenders back. But we've gone for the captain Vincent Kompany, whose aerial presence will help deal with Fulham’s main threat, Aleksander Mitrovic. Kyle Walker will complete the back four despite playing 180 minutes for England.
Moving into the midfield three, and seeing Fernandinho back is brilliant and will be even more crucial going into the massive month ahead. I’d imagine Kevin De Bruyne will come straight back into the side and will be hoping to fine tune his form to make a difference in the huge upcoming games. David Silva has been out in the UAE with City coaches over the international break to try and recapture his form and I'm sure that’s something Guardiola will admire and will earn him the slot next to KDB.
The front three picks itself at the moment. Raheem Sterling has gone rather hypocritically from public enemy number one, to the nations 'starboy' in the past year with England. And fresh off four goals and three assists, he’ll operate on the left and will look to continue his flying form. Bernardo Silva earns the other wide spot, despite Leroy Sane being so impressive for Germany. It goes without saying however, 'bubble-gum' has been one of our best players all season. Sergio Aguero will be fit and firing to go as he continues his quest for the golden boot, and I’d expect him to lead the line.
This is a brilliant opportunity to not just beat a desperate Fulham side, but to score a few goals to boost our already gargantuan goal difference as that is what it could come down to come the final game of this thrilling Premier League campaign.
City Bench: Aro Muric, Benjamin Mendy, Nicolas Otamendi, Leroy Sané, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus.
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