Manchester City return to Premier League action on Boxing Day with a home game against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United.
City were in fine form in midweek, as they comfortably beat Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates to secure their spot in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, despite Guardiola making a lot of changes to his side.
However, despite the impressive performance, we feel it’s likely he will pick a side similar to the one that saw off Southampton in City’s last Premier League fixture, although on current form, Guardiola may opt to rest some of his key players against the goal-shy Toon.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects the Spanish manager to line his side up at the Etihad, with eight changes from the starting team that beat Arsenal…
Ederson reclaims his place in goal after Zak Steffen earned a rare start against the Gunners, with the Brazilian no doubt hoping to improve on his excellent clean sheet record from so far this season.
There are three changes in defence, with Benjamin Mendy replacing Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back, as this match should allow the Frenchman to push forward a lot, whilst John Stones should return at centre-back, despite Aymeric Laporte’s goal in midweek.
Kyle Walker replaces Joao Cancelo at right-back, with the Englishman still clearly an important part of Guardiola’s side, with the Spanish manager having heavily praised him earlier in the season, saying:
“It was an incredible signing for Man City. I want to thank the club for bringing him here.”
Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne return in midfield, in place of Fernandinho and Phil Foden, who are perhaps both unfortunate to miss out after impressive performances, although Guardiola will surely want to rotate as much as possible over Christmas to try and avoid injuries.
Finally, in attack, Gabriel Jesus keeps his place after breaking his goal-scoring duck at the Emirates, whilst Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling replace Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva on the wings.