Manchester City face Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Sunday evening, as Pep Guardiola’s side look to keep the pressure on those at the top of the league by picking up another three points.
The Citizens have now won their last seven fixtures in all competitions, conceding just two goals in that time, so will be in a confident mood ahead of the visit of Roy Hodgson’s side.
However, Guardiola’s side have struggled when facing the Eagles at the Etihad in recent seasons, losing 3-2 in December 2018 and drawing 2-2 in January 2020, so they will have to be at their best, despite Palace’s indifferent start to the Premier League season.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects Guardiola to line his side up on Sunday, with three changes from the side that beat Brighton in midweek…
Ederson keeps his place in goal after returning to the action with a clean sheet against Brighton in midweek.
There’s one change in defence as, despite his impressive performance against Graham Potter’s side, Oleksandr Zinchenko drops to the bench, with Joao Cancelo moving to left-back to accommodate Kyle Walker at right-back.
Whilst the Ukrainian was solid on Wednesday, Wilfried Zaha poses a real threat with his pace and trickery, so Guardiola should ensure that he has his best two full-backs on the pitch in order to deal with the former Manchester United winger.
Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne keep their place in midfield, as that has proved to be a winning dynamic in recent weeks, although Fernandinho represents an excellent option on the bench should Guardiola feel the need to make changes.
There’s one change in attack, as Riyad Mahrez, who Guardiola suggested had “something special” in 2020, drops to the bench, as unfortunately, he is not producing those special moments on a consistent enough basis at the moment.
Ferran Torres makes his return up front to replace the Algerian, with Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva playing as inverted wingers to support the Spanish forward in attack.
And, in other news… Guardiola can forget Braaf by signing £10m wizard likened to Lionel Messi