The defending champions have picked up ten points from five Premier League fixtures so far and will be eager to get the better of current league leaders Chelsea, when they travel to London on matchday six.
Pep Guardiola will demand the utmost concentration on Saturday, as they head into three of the most difficult away fixtures in club football, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool all to play across the next nine days.
The Catalan boss will certainly hope to create some sort of positive momentum, starting with a perfect performance this weekend. However, Chelsea have started their season strongly and look set to offer tough competition for this year’s Premier League title. The London side are currently enjoying life under Thomas Tuchel’s leadership, which guided them to European glory last season.
Manchester City lost three fixtures at the end of last season against Tuchel’s side and with positive reinforcement in the form of Romelu Lukaku, it is expected to be a mighty test for Pep Guardiola’s defending champions yet again this season.
Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden are both back just in time for the colossal challenge this weekend, and Pep Guardiola will be counting on his trusted craftsmen to secure all three points at Stamford Bridge.
Ahead of matchday six in the Premier League, here is how we expect Manchester City to line-up against Chelsea.
Ederson will be back in goal at Stamford Bridge. The Brazilian was one of the several players rested during midweek, and the Manchester City stopper will be eager to get one over his counterpart Edouard Mendy in the Golden Glove race.
In defence, Kyle Walker’s agility and strength will be required to cover Chelsea’s high-flying full backs, and he will take his usual spot on the right side of a back four. Ruben Dias will unquestionably be at the heart of Manchester City’s defence after a well-deserved rest in the midweek.
While Pep Guardiola confirmed the unavailability of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte due to injury last week, the pair have provided City with a major boost by returning to training on Friday. However, with uncertainty over their match fitness, we think Nathan Ake is likely to partner Dias in central defence.
Joao Cancelo had played every minute of Manchester City’s season leading up to the midweek Carabao Cup fixture against Wycombe, and having recharged his batteries after a short break, will be back on the left side of the defence.
Kevin De Bruyne, who announced a proper return to action with a solid goal against Wycombe in midweek, is expected to start in this weekend's high-octane fixture against his former side.
With uncertainty over Rodrigo's availability for this fixture, despite returning to training on Thursday, club captain and midfield general Fernandinho is likely to take up his usual position in defensive midfield.
Phil Foden, who was the star of Manchester City’s 6-1 thumping of Wycombe on Tuesday night with one goal and two assists, will surely start this game in a newly-appointed central midfield position.
We expect Gabriel Jesus to return to his newfound position at right-wing, with Bernardo Silva going through the middle as a false nine in Pep Guardiola’s free-flowing formation.
Jack Grealish will come back into Manchester City’s attack thanks to his hot form since joining the club this season. The Englishman has had a dream start to his Manchester City career, and will surely be ready to go again on Saturday.
Substitutes: Zack Steffen, Oleskandr Zinchenko, Aymeric Laporte, Luke Mbete, Romeo Lavia, Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Ferran Torres.
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