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Ruben Dias returns, Mateo Kovacic to start – Predicted XI: Fulham vs Manchester City (Premier League)



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Manchester City travel to west London this weekend to take on Fulham on Saturday afternoon, as Pep Guardiola’s side close in on a fourth straight Premier League title.

Three is the magic number for Manchester City, as they sit that many wins away from a record-fourth straight title. But wins never come easy at this time of year, and Pep Guardiola’s side cannot take their eye off the prize.

Fulham come into the weekend’s match with little to play for given their mid-table status has already secured them safety for another year without challenging for the higher-ranked European places.

Manchester City, however, can still win a Premier League and cup double, with the FA Cup final against rivals Manchester United still to come at the end of the month, marking the end of the club’s domestic calendar.

Injuries have been an issue throughout the campaign for the Blues, though they have rounded into the final weeks of the season without any major fitness concerns, and come into the weekend’s clash against Fulham with a fully-fit squad at Guardiola’s disposal.

John Stones has been in and out of the team as of late for Manchester City however, but recurring muscular injuries are not new for the former Everton man. Pep Guardiola will be hoping he can call upon the Englishman without too much problem.

Let’s take a look at how we believe Manchester City may set up at Craven Cottage this weekend in another mammoth Premier League encounter for the reigning Champions!

Predicted XI

Ederson will no doubt remain in goal for Manchester City, as per usual procedure in Premier League matches. The Brazilian recently recovered from a shoulder injury suffered against Nottingham Forest, but has since returned to action.

Kyle Walker will keep hold of his right-back position in the Manchester City set-up, with the club captain’s leadership and Premier League title-winning experience perhaps becoming key in these final few matches.

Meanwhile, the centre-back partnership of Manuel Akanji and Nathan Aké has looked great in the last two matches, but we have a sneaking suspicion that Ruben Dias could return to join the Swiss international centrally.

The leaves Josko Gvardiol out on the left of a defensive line, where the Croatian has excelled in recent months, quickly cementing himself as one of the best marauding full-backs in the Premier League.

Rodri and Mateo Kovacic have formed a superb partnership in the more defensive midfield ranks recently. The Croatian’s addition has helped the Spaniard become more of a creative force in the middle of the park.

We will keep it simple on the wings for Manchester City in the capital this weekend, as Bernardo Silva will take up his spot on the right, while Phil Foden will hug the touchline on the left.

Manchester City’s big-game man Kevin De Bruyne will surely get the start in this one. The Belgium international has sometimes singlehandedly won these types of games for Manchester City in the past.

That leaves us with Erling Haaland up front. The Norwegian international striker has rediscovered his form after a recent dry-spell, and it has certainly come at the perfect time for Pep Guardiola.

Starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic, Bernardo, Foden; De Bruyne, Haaland.

Substitutes: Ortega, Stones, Ake, Lewis, Nunes, Doku, Grealish, Bobb, Alvarez.