Manchester City return to Premier League action this weekend following their Carabao Cup third round exit against Newcastle United in midweek.
City have had perhaps their shortest turnaround between matches of this season so far, having returned to their Manchester training centre in the early hours of Thursday morning following the trip to St. James’ Park.
Manager Pep Guardiola made a point of the reigning Premier League champions’ travel arrangements for the League Cup clash with Newcastle, as the Manchester City side had to make the five-hour round-trip to the north-east via road.
A single Alexander Isak goal in the second-half of action was enough to separate the two sides in the third round of the Carabao Cup, with Eddie Howe’s side now progressing onwards to a fourth round meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
For Pep Guardiola and his players, attentions very quickly turn towards their Saturday afternoon meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, as Manchester City look to maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the new top-flight season.
Manchester City will remain without Bernardo Silva and John Stones for the trip to Molineux this weekend due to their respective injury problems, as the latter moves towards first-team training having engaged in individual sessions at present.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, Pep Guardiola indicated that John Stones may make a return to first-team preparations next week, or after their trip to Germany to face RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League.
Kevin De Bruyne of course remains sidelined as a result of surgery on his hamstring, while Rodri is taking on his second of three matches that he is suspended for following his red card against Nottingham Forest in the last Premier League outing for Manchester City.
Ahead of the clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City, as well as Matheus Nunes’ first return to Molineux following a controversial exit in the summer, here is how we predict Pep Guardiola will line-up his side on Saturday afternoon!
Ederson returns to the starting position in goal following Stefan Ortega Moreno’s outing in the League Cup in midweek.
Having been rested at St. James’ Park on Wednesday night, it is widely believed that Kyle Walker will slot straight back into his starting berth at right-back and take the captain’s armband from Nathan Ake – who we expect to sit this one out.
In the traditional central-defensive pairing slots, we believe Manuel Akanji will stand alongside Ruben Dias as the latter comes back in following a rare rest from 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Josko Gvardiol is likely to retain his place as Manchester City’s left-back at Molineux, as the Croatia international continues his rise within Pep Guardiola’s team ahead of his return to RB Leipzig next week.
While Kalvin Phillips assumed the defensive midfield in the Carabao Cup, we believe Pep Guardiola will select a more assured option in the middle of Manchester City’s midfield with Mateo Kovacic sitting at the base of a three.
Ahead of the Croatia international, our guess is that Matheus Nunes will start in his first return to Molineux after going on strike at Wolves to force through a move to the Etihad Stadium towards the end of the summer transfer window.
Julian Alvarez is also likely to take on an attacking midfield position and compliment the striking options when Manchester City find themselves in forward positions.
On the right, we believe Phil Foden will start once again for Manchester City, while Jeremy Doku could replace Jack Grealish from the left to add some much-needed intensity and flair into the forward line following his exciting start to life at the club.
Erling Haaland will start in his usual striking role. The Norwegian also had a night off against Newcastle United.
Starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Kovacic, Nunes, Alvarez; Foden, Haaland, Doku.
Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Lewis, Ake, Gomez, Phillips, Grealish, Bobb.
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