Manchester City take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Friday night and, whilst Pep Guardiola’s side have already wrapped up the Premier League title, his players will be desperate to perform well ahead of the Champions League final later this month.
Whilst City were unable to secure the title last weekend when they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea, Manchester United’s defeat against Leicester City at Old Trafford on Tuesday night ensured that the Premier League trophy would return to the Etihad Stadium.
Steve Bruce’s side, meanwhile, have enjoyed an impressive run in recent weeks which has steered them well clear of relegation from the top flight, which suggests that the Toon will have nothing other than pride to play for on Friday evening.
Here’s how we think Pep Guardiola will line up against Newcastle, with eight changes from the team which started against Chelsea last Saturday…
Ederson keeps his place in goal, as he still has some work to do if he wants to secure the Golden Glove in the Premier League this season.
After switching to a 3-1-4-2 formation against Chelsea, Guardiola reverts to a more conventional four-man defence for this game, with Kyle Walker replacing Joao Cancelo at right-back, whilst Oleksandr Zinchenko comes in for Benjamin Mendy on the opposite flank.
John Stones returns from suspension to partner Ruben Dias at centre-back, with Rodri protecting the defence, with the Spain international one of just three players to keep their places from the defeat to Chelsea six days ago.
It’s all change in attack as Sergio Aguero drops to the bench after his shocking penalty against Chelsea, with Liam Delap handed his first Premier League start up front, and he is supported by Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez on the wings.