Manchester City take on BSC Young Boys on matchday three of their ongoing UEFA Champions League group stage campaign on Wednesday night.
The reigning European champions will be looking to maintain their 100 per cent winning start in the group following successive victories at home to Crvena zvezda on matchday one, and RB Leipzig in Germany on matchday two.
Manchester City also returned to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon following successive defeats with a 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, and goals from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland.
City currently sit in second position and two points behind league leaders Tottenham, with Ange Postecoglou’s men currently undefeated heading into gameweek 10 with seven victories and two draws currently to their name.
Manchester City will almost certainly feel as though they have qualified for the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night should they record another victory, barring anything disastrous happening for the trophy holders.
Pep Guardiola has been buoyed by the return of John Stones to his defence and midfield in recent days, with the England international starting proceedings from the very off on the weekend against Roberto De Zerbi’s side.
You can find the full 23-man travelling Manchester City squad below.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Tuesday evening, Pep Guardiola explained on the competition for places in his starting line-up, “They have an incredible relationship together.”
The Manchester City manager continued, “They compete for one position, and have to convince themselves. Sooner or later the opportunity comes and you need to be ready.”
Ahead of the clash between BSC Young Boys and Manchester City, as well as Manuel Akanji’s visit to his native Switzerland, here is how we predict Pep Guardiola will line-up his side on Wednesday night!
Ederson is expected to return in between the sticks for Manchester City on Wednesday night, having been granted a rest away from the starting line-up against Brighton following his exploits with Brazil during the recent international break.
At right-back, and following on from his exemplary performance in Leipzig, we expect Rico Lewis to earn another start but operate largely in defensive midfield and adding more numbers to Manchester City’s central areas.
As for the central defensive partnership, we believe Manuel Akanji will keep his place in the side following his dismissal against Brighton at the weekend – which also means he will be ruled out of the Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon.
The Swiss international is likely to be partnered by Ruben Dias, while Nathan Ake is expected to come into the side and we think he will start as Manchester City’s left-back at the Wankdorf Stadium.
Rodri will keep his place in defensive midfield, with back-up option Kalvin Phillips unlikely to return to the Manchester City starting line-up until Champions League knock-out qualification is secured with games to spare.
Ahead of the Spaniard and we believe that Mateo Kovacic will also start, perhaps granting the aforementioned defensive midfielder the license to roam forward whilst the Croatian sits deeper during certain phases of play.
Phil Foden could also start in an attacking midfield role to grant Julian Alvarez a rest ahead of the Manchester derby, with the Argentine also known to be effective from the substitutes bench, as seen by his outing in Leipzig on matchday two.
Bernardo Silva is likely to operate as Manchester City’s right-winger at the Wankdorf, with the Portugal international known to be effective from the role especially in Champions League competition.
Erling Haaland is expected to lead the line, and will be wanting to build on his goalscoring output from Saturday afternoon.
Jack Grealish could also come in on the left-hand side, despite Jeremy Doku’s blistering performance against Brighton last weekend, with the England international offering more control of possession in comparison to his attacking colleague.
Starting XI: Ederson; Lewis, Akanji, Dias, Ake; Rodri, Kovacic, Foden; Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish.
Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Walker, Stones, Gvardiol, Gomez, Phillips, Nunes, Hamilton, Alvarez, Doku, Bobb.
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