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Manchester City: Pep Guardiola should axe Rodri against Everton

Manchester City face Everton in the Premier League on Sunday and, after some poor recent performances, Pep Guardiola should axe Rodri from his starting XI.

The Spanish midfielder must take a lot of the blame for two of City’s recent defeats, as a slack pass against Chelsea led to Hakim Ziyech’s equaliser, whilst another shocking pass gifted Brighton a goal back in the recent 3-2 defeat at the Amex Stadium.

With Fernandinho having produced some excellent recent displays, the Brazilian should be restored to the starting line-up after being omitted from the first XI against Chelsea, Brighton and Newcastle United.

Who should start vs Everton?

Rodri

Rodri

Fernandinho

Fernandinho

Whilst the 36-year-old is reportedly set to extend his stay at City for another year, his current deal is set to expire at the end of the season, so this could yet be his final appearance at the Etihad Stadium. With fans set to return for the game against the Toffees, what better way for him to potentially sign off than by lifting the Premier League trophy.

Rodri’s performances against Chelsea and Brighton earned him disappointing 5.98/10 and 6.01 ratings from WhoScored, which is far below his average 7.18 rating for the season, a worrying sign ahead of the Champions League final on Saturday night.

After two defeats in the last three, as well as a less than convincing win against Newcastle United, Guardiola should go with his strongest XI for the game against Everton in preparation for the Chelsea showdown next weekend. On current form, that means Fernandinho starting ahead of Rodri.

The £63m-rated Spanish midfielder has been impressive for City since signing from Atletico Madrid and Guardiola was full of praise for him back in 2019, saying: “We knew it but today I can assure you we have an incredible holding midfielder for the next decade, or at least the years he will be here with a contract.”

Unfortunately, his performances in recent weeks have not been at his usual standard and he should lose his place for the game against Carlo Ancelotti’s side on Sunday, as the last thing City need is another mistake from him in their last game before the Champions League final.

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Article title: Manchester City: Pep Guardiola should axe Rodri against Everton

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