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Bernardo Silva and John Stones both start, Julian Alvarez drops out – Predicted XI: Manchester City vs Brentford (Premier League)



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Manchester City host Brentford in the Premier League on Tuesday night in what is a must-win encounter for the hosts as Pep Guardiola’s side continue their search for an unprecedented fourth-consecutive English top-flight title.

The past weekend was not the kindest to Manchester City to say the very least. Title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal both convincingly breezed past their respective opponents whilst City produced a lacklustre performance against Chelsea at the Etihad, playing out a 1-1 draw.

Minutes before the half-time interval, Manchester City found themselves behind. Chelsea capitalised on a quick counter-attack, with Nicolas Jackson exploiting space behind Nathan Ake to deliver a precise pass to Raheem Sterling – who evaded Kyle Walker’s defence and curled a shot past Ederson into the bottom-right corner.

Despite Erling Haaland’s numerous missed opportunities, Manchester City managed to find an equaliser in the 83rd minute. In a display of his customary composure, the ball found its way to Rodri, who struck it decisively past Djordje Petrovic, aided by a deflection off Axel Disasi.

The reigning Premier League champions remain four points behind the current Premier League leaders Liverpool, who sit top of the Premier League, with a game in hand.

With every game now a final for Manchester City, a fully-fit squad would be brilliant. But, winning a league is never easy and City’s previously fully-fit squad lasted all of one week.

Jack Grealish and Josko Gvardiol both remain ruled out for the Champions this week, with the former expected to be in contention for the meeting with Manchester United on March 3 as Guardiola revealed the forward could return in the next 10 days.

Here’s how we think Manchester City will line-up against Brentford!

Predicted XI

Ederson will start in goal.

Kyle Walker started Manchester City’s previous game and we believe he will keep his position on the right of defence, despite heavy criticism for various lapses of concentration and decisions made during the 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Ruben Dias is expected to start in the middle of a defensive line. Manuel Akanji was deployed in the ‘John Stones role’ against Chelsea, but Stones himself is likely to take his place for this one.

With no Josko Gvardiol, Nathan Ake is nailed on to play on the left.

Rodri will start in the six role.

Ahead of him is where discussion begins. Julian Alvarez has started every Premier League game so far this season either in midfield or up-front, but we believe Tuesday night will be the game he loses his spot.

Phil Foden will come into the attacking midfield region, partnering Kevin De Bruyne. It is worth saying that Foden could also be pushed wide and either Mateo Kovacic or Matheus Nunes see themselves selected.

Bernardo Silva must come back into the team somewhere and the right of an attacking line seems most likely. Yet, Pep Guardiola could opt to move him into the centre and Phil Foden onto the right.

Due to Jack Grealish’s absence through injury, Jeremy Doku should hold down Manchester City’s left wing. The Belgian wasn’t great against Chelsea, but has proven his worth so far in Sky Blue.

Leading the line for the Blues will be Erling Haaland. The Norweigan wasn’t his usual self at the weekend, but after news broke of a family death before the game, it is understandable. Any so-called ‘supporter’ doubting Manchester City’s No.9 is foolish, and will undoubtedly proved wrong sooner rather than later.

Starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Ake; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne; Foden, Doku, Haaland.

Substitutions: Ortega, Lewis, Akanji, Gomez, Susoho, Nunes, Kovacic, Bobb, Alvarez.