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Mateo Kovacic starts, Jack Grealish returns with Nathan Ake – Predicted XI: Luton Town vs Manchester City (Premier League)



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Manchester City look to turn a retched run of form in the Premier League around this weekend, as they travel to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town.

It has been a disappointing few weeks for the champions, who’s poor form was extended most recently with a disastrous display on the road, as they were deservedly defeated 1-0 by Unai Emery’s Aston Villa.

Although there is no shame in losing to a rampant Villa side, who currently sit third in the Premier League, the manner in which it happened was certainly alarming, with Manchester City mauled in Birmingham during the week.

A measly two shots all evening emphasised just how poor Manchester City were. However, the blues must lick their wounds and go again, as the quick turnaround sees a tricky afternoon at Luton lie ahead.

The Hatters were unfortunate not to get a result during the week, as Rob Edwards’ side pinned Arsenal back until the last minute before Declan Rice headed home a killer blow to claim all three points.

Luton will certainly take positives from the display and will by no means bow down to Manchester City on Sunday, as the Hatters look to beat the odds and manage a monumental result against the current Premier League Champions.

While City were unsuccessful on the road against Aston Villa, the return of Rodrigo, who was ineligible due to suspension, will be a key factor in their hopes of claiming the three points this time around.

Despite the absence of the Spanish international, there was still no luck for Kalvin Phillips, who warmed the bench once again. Pep Guardiola admitted he feels “so sorry” for the Englishman, stating that he cannot visualise the midfielder in his team.

The importance of Rodri has been evident for a while, but with all four of Manchester City’s losses this season coming without the Spaniard in the side, there will be no Christmas present greater for Pep Guardiola than the return of his midfield maestro.

We’re sure he will be the first name on the team sheet this Sunday afternoon, and with that being said here is the full Manchester City eleven we predict will start the clash against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road!

Predicted XI

Ederson prevented it from being a basketball scoreline on Wednesday night, so we expect the Brazilian to retain his place in the side.

A shake-up in defence is needed with carelessness creeping in. As such, we think Manuel Akanji might start this one on the right of a back four, with some supporters questioning the qualities of other candidates for the role.

John Stones made his return to action during the week after a lengthy period out through a muscular problem. We think Stones will keep his place in the City side, this time partnering Ruben Dias at the back.

Nathan Ake again watched from the sidelines at Aston Villa, much to the confusion of some supporters, but we expect the Dutchman to return in place of Josko Gvardiol, completing the Manchester City defence.

It will be astonishing to see anything other than Rodrigo hold the midfield at Luton this weekend, given the bleak results in the absence of the Spaniard throughout the course of this season so far.

Bernardo Silva wasn’t at his best on Wednesday night, but we expect him to keep his place in the side, partnering Mateo Kovacic in midfield, giving some much-needed control in possession.

It was a surprise to many when the number of Phil Foden went up to be substituted in midweek, with the England international the only real attacking threat in the game. We expect Foden to start again, with Julian Alvarez dropping out of the side.

With Erling Haaland reportedly absent from the Manchester City travelling squad to Luton on Saturday night, we expect Julian Alvarez to shift forward into the lone striking role and away from his recent attacking midfield berth.

Jack Grealish was ineligible to face his former club after an accumulation of yellow cards resulted in a one-match suspension, but we think he will start this one in the expected absence of Jeremy Doku.

Predicted XI: Ederson; Akanji, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodrigo, Bernardo, Kovacic; Foden, Alvarez, Grealish.

Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Walker, Gvardiol, Gomez, Phillips, Nunes, Bobb, Doku.