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Rico Lewis starts, Kevin De Bruyne sidelined – Predicted XI: Manchester City vs Newcastle United (FA Cup Quarter-Final)



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Manchester City host Newcastle United on Saturday evening as this season’s edition of the Emirates FA Cup reaches the quarter-final stage.

Pep Guardiola’s side come into the clash after earning a point at Anfield against Premier League title rivals Liverpool, seeing the Blues sit third in the division and one point behind league leaders Arsenal. 

But attention will turn back to the FA Cup as Manchester City look to defend their crown after completing a historic Treble in the 2022/23 campaign. Eddie Howe’s depleted Newcastle currently stand in the way however. 

The Etihad Stadium outfit have a slight advantage over their visitors when it comes to rest in the legs after Newcastle travelled to Stamford Bridge for a Premier League clash with Chelsea on Monday evening. 

After Pep Guardiola’s team selection at Anfield last time out left some with question marks, let’s see how he could set up his side against the Magpies with the final international break of the campaign beginning next week. 

Predicted XI

Stefan Ortega Moreno will start in goal, as per usual routine for Manchester City in domestic cup competitions. The requirement for the German’s duties were further heightened after Ederson was confirmed to be out with a thigh injury for up to a month.

We expect Rico Lewis to take up his spot at right-back, despite the limited role he has had in recent months. This will also allow for a much-needed rest for Kyle Walker after a string of appearances for the 32-year-old.

Manuel Akanji will likely join Ruben Dias in central-defence after the latter was only named among the substitutes for the contest against Liverpool last weekend, while John Stones is taken care of ahead of a crunch run of fixtures after the break.

Similar to the aforementioned Stones, Manchester City may also look to rest Nathan Ake this weekend, and as such turn to Josko Gvardiol to take up the left-back spot after recently returning from injury. 

Rodri will, of course, take his usual spot in defensive midfield for Pep Guardiola’s side, due in large part to the fact that there is arguably no other option for the Catalan coach this weekend aside from names out of their natural position. 

Matheus Nunes has been allocated to the left-wing role as of late, but with a potentially key role for Mateo Kovacic in upcoming games, last summer’s recruit from Wolves could slide back into the midfield. 

Jeremy Doku and Bernardo Silva should play on the wings, and on the left and right side of an attacking format respectively, after Pep Guardiola’s somewhat controversial selections on the flanks at Liverpool. 

Erling Haaland will remain the starter in the lone-striker role this weekend, while the red-hot Phil Foden will move into Kevin De Bruyne’s role in-behind the Norwegian given the Belgian’s recent injury concern.

Starting XI: Ortega; Lewis, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Nunes, Foden; Bernardo, Haaland, Doku.

Substitutes: Carson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Gomez, Kovacic, Grealish, Alvarez, Bobb.