Manchester City will be looking to seal their place in this season’s FA Cup final as they take on Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side in the semi-final at Wembley on Saturday evening.
Pep Guardiola’s side can keep their quadruple hopes alive with a win against the Blues, who have dramatically improved since the German manager’s appointment in January. Both sides progressed to the Champions League semi-finals in midweek, with City beating Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on aggregate, whilst the west London side scraped past Porto 2-1.
Rotation always seems likely when Guardiola is involved but the Spanish manager will surely go with something close to his strongest XI given the importance of Saturday’s fixture.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects Guardiola to line up against Chelsea, with three changes from the side which started against Dortmund on Wednesday…
Despite Zack Steffen featuring earlier in the competition, it seems likely that Guardiola will keep his faith in Ederson to start this fixture.
There’s one change in defence as Joao Cancelo comes in at left-back for Oleksandr Zinchenko after the Portuguese defender was left out in midweek.
In midfield, Kevin De Bruyne takes the place of Bernardo Silva, with the Belgian dropping further back despite impressing up front in the win in Germany.
This allows for two changes in attack as Gabriel Jesus returns up front in the hope that he can stretch Chelsea’s ageing defence with runs in behind, with Riyad Mahrez supporting him on the right flank.
Phil Foden is also unfortunate to miss out after a starring display in midweek, but the “exceptional” Raheem Sterling – in the words of England boss Gareth Southgate – has barely featured of late and his pace could prove to be a game-changer for Guardiola. That is especially the case as Reece James will likely push up on the right-hand side, which could leave a lot of space in behind to be exploited by Sterling, so he gets the nod ahead of Foden.