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Kyle Walker returns, Mateo Kovacic keeps his spot – Predicted XI: Tottenham vs Manchester City (Premier League)



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Manchester City look to get one hand on the Premier League title in a showdown with Tottenham Hotspur in London on Tuesday evening.

Pep Guardiola’s team are only three days removed from a comfortable victory at Fulham which sent them to the top of the table, but Arsenal’s win at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon sent City back down into second, though the Blues have a game in hand.

That game in hand will come on Tuesday evening at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a place that has not been a happy hunting ground for Pep Guardiola’s side. Since Spurs moved into the stadium, City have yet to score a top-flight goal, never-mind win a Premier League game there.

But history will collide history on Tuesday night as Manchester City are notoriously ruthless in the final weeks of the Premier League campaign when the title is on the line, and that is exactly the scenario that they find themselves in.

On the team news and injuries front, Jack Grealish returned from illness to partake in all training sessions between Fulham and Tottenham, while Nathan Ake was described as ‘much better’ by manager Pep Guardiola during his pre-match press conference.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how we believe Pep Guardiola may set his Manchester City side up in north London on Tuesday night!

Predicted XI

Ederson in goal, as is customary. Back-up option Stefan Ortega Moreno is unlikely to feature again in the Premier League this season, although the FA Cup final against Manchester United could be his opportunity to shine.

While Kyle Walker started on the bench against Fulham on Saturday, he was forced on when Nathan Ake was taken off with injury. We expect the Englishman to get the start, as well as the arm-band, on Tuesday night.

Due to Nathan Ake’s injury, and lack of full fitness in this one, Ruben Dias should start a second consecutive game and partner Manuel Akanji in the centre. John Stones does not simply seem fit enough to start any games of this magnitude at present.

Josko Gvardiol will take up the left-side of defence, a role that he has grown into with aplomb in the last few weeks, including two goals at Craven Cottage and a number of fine strikes against Real Madrid and Luton Town in recent weeks.

Into midfield we go as Rodri will take up his normal starting role in the defensive anchor, looking to close off another fine individual season and extend his unbeaten run in the Manchester City side to 73 matches.

Mateo Kovacic has made himself almost undroppable in the last few weeks, providing a perfect sidekick role to the aforementioned Rodri, and we expect the Croatian to get the start once again.

In Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden, Pep Guardiola appears to have found his most balanced wing pairing, though the duo spend most of their time cutting inside looking to link up with the other attacking players.

Kevin De Bruyne was at the races against Fulham this past weekend, and despite his fitness issues this season, we expect him to play a key role on Tuesday, and in the dying weeks of the campaign.

Last, but not least, Erling Haaland will start up front for Manchester City. The Norwegian has seemingly rediscovered his form in recent weeks, something that Pep Guardiola will be overjoyed with.

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

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