Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend as they take on Norwich City at the Etihad Stadium in the first home game of the 2021/22 Premier League season.
Pep Guardiola’s side were far from their best in north London last weekend and were deserved losers after Heung-min Son’s goal was enough to separate the two sides, but today they have a great opportunity to earn their first three points of the new season as they face the newly-promoted Canaries.
After missing a number of players last weekend due to injury and a lack of pre-season, the extra week of training suggests that the likes of John Stones and Kyle Walker could return after their extended break, whilst Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne could be fit enough to feature despite injury concerns earlier in the week.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects Guardiola to line up his side against Daniel Farke’s side, with three changes from the team which started against Spurs last time out…
Ederson will be looking to pick up where he left off last season, when he won the Golden Glove, with a clean sheet against the Canaries today.
The first of two changes in defence sees Oleksandr Zinchenko comes in for Benjamin Mendy at left-back, with the £18m-rated Frenchman emphasising why he shouldn’t be a regular starter this season with a shocking display at Spurs last weekend.
Stones also makes his return at centre-back, replacing Nathan Ake to resume his formidable partnership with Ruben Dias at the heart of the City defence.
There’s one change in midfield as Rodri comes in for Fernandinho, who struggled against Spurs, and the Spaniard is joined by Jack Grealish and Gundogan, as it would perhaps be unwise to risk De Bruyne from the start.
Although they failed to score against Tottenham, Guardiola sticks with a front three of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres against the Canaries in the hope that they can build some confidence with goals against Farke’s side.