Manchester City return to the Etihad Stadium for the first time after their historic treble-winning campaign, welcoming Newcastle United on Saturday night.
After lifting their third consecutive Premier League trophy against Chelsea back in May, the reigning Champions return to their fortress to commence their home reign, with Newcastle United looking to spoil the party.
It has been a successful start to the new season for the blues on the pitch, with two consecutive wins under their belt, defeating Burnley 0-3 away from home on the opening weekend, as well as a penalty shoot-out victory over Sevilla on Wednesday night to bring the UEFA Super Cup to Manchester.
However, the luck for City has certainly ended on the pitch, with the club facing some unfortunate absences already this season, after Kevin De Bruyne picked up a hamstring injury which required surgery, ruling him out for up to five months.
John Stones has also been ruled out of the Newcastle clash with a muscular injury picked up in training following the Super Cup win in Athens, as well as Bernardo Silva – who is sidelined with illness, but should return next week, as confirmed Pep Guardiola on Friday afternoon.
Ruben Dias is however back in contention to start which will certainly be a welcome lift for the champions, after the Portugal international centre-back missed the first couple of games with a concussion injury sustained in training.
Saturday’s clash comes just 72 hours after Manchester City emerged victorious in Piraeous. Pep Guardiola sarcastically thanked the Premier League for not scheduling the game on Sunday or Monday, emphasising the brutality of the fixture congestion early on this season.
Newcastle will be hoping to capitalise on a fatigued and dismembered Manchester City side, with the Magpies setting their sights high this season, which will have been enhanced by their opening weekend victory as they defeated Aston Villa 5-1 leaving them top of the table.
As Manchester City look to make it a third consecutive victory this season, here is the side we predict will face Newcastle United on Saturday night!
Ederson will retain his place in goal.
Manuel Akanji had a tough time on Wednesday night, but we predict the Swiss international to start again on Saturday and operate in the right-back position.
Ruben Dias is understood to have recovered from his concussion and completed the necessary time away from the game in order to become available again, and as such we expect him to return to the side, partnering Nathan Ake in the centre of defence.
After making his first start for the club against Sevilla, we expect Josko Gvardiol to retain his place and start at left-back once again, completing the defence for Manchester City on Saturday night.
Rodrigo will keep his place in defensive midfield.
We expect Phil Foden to occupy a role in midfield once again, alongside summer signing Mateo Kovacic, who continued his run of impressive performances by starring in the centre of the park in the UEFA Super Cup this week.
Cole Palmer scored a crucial equaliser against Sevilla, and we expect him to keep his place in the side starting at right-wing, with Julian Alvarez being declared not fully-fit before kick-off in midweek.
Erling Haaland will lead the line for Manchester City as expected, as the Norwegian international has his eyes set on building upon his opening day brace against Burnley last Friday night.
Jack Grealish was largely nullified against Sevilla this week with the winger being doubled up on at every chance. We expect the England international star to keep his place however, and instil lots of creativity down the flanks.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Akanji, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodrigo, Foden, Kovacic; Palmer, Haaland, Grealish.
Substitutes: Ortega, Walker, Laporte, Lewis, Gomez, Phillips, McAtee, Bobb, Alvarez.
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