Manchester City travel to the capital for a rare and difficult Monday night fixture this week as they take on Brentford in Premier League action.
Arsenal’s victory over current leaders Liverpool means that a win for Manchester City at the Brentford Community Stadium on Monday could close the gap to just two points for the blues, with another game in hand.
Monday night’s fixture will be no easy feat for the visiting Premier League champions however, as the blues fell victim to the Bees on both accounts last season, suffering defeats both at home and away against Brentford.
On the plus side for the visitors is the return of superstar forward Erling Haaland, as Pep Guardiola confirmed following his cameo appearance off the bench against Burnley last week that the Norwegian is now “ready to start” this one.
Thomas Frank’s side have also recently seen the return of their star man, as Ivan Toney returned to action following a long spell out of action through suspension, with Pep Guardiola full of praise for the English centre forward.
The City boss highlighted the threat posed by Toney, which the Catalan’s side witnessed first-hand last season when the striker’s last-minute winner at the Etihad Stadium sealed defeat for the Blues – the last time the home crowd witnessed such a result back in November 2022.
Ivan Toney’s return has spiked a resurgence in Brentford’s season, but the form of the away side is certainly worth noting, with the blues hitting their customary business end of the season rich vein of form.
With 10 wins and one draw in their last 11 across all competitions, the away side will certainly be favourites for this one. With that being said, here is the side we predict will start the Monday night fixture at Brentford!
Ederson will start in goal, as the Brazilian looks to keep a clean sheet this time following the disappointing 93rd minute consolation goal conceded last time around against Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.
We think Kyle Walker will return to the side following his position on the bench against Burnley, and as such resume duties as Manchester City’s captain despite Kevin De Bruyne assuming the role last time around.
John Stones should start again after he returned to the side against Burnley, and we expect him to partner Ruben Dias at the back, with Manuel Akanji being carefully brought back to full fitness.
In a change of personnel on the left side of Manchester City’s defence, we believe Nathan Ake should start in the left-back berth, completing the defence for this one.
Rodri will, as always, be one of the first names on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team-sheet, and particularly after his trademark side-footed finish in the bottom right corner last time around.
Kevin De Bruyne made his first start since August against Burnley on Wednesday night, and we think the Belgian will keep his place in the starting line-up, partnering Phil Foden in the attacking midfield roles.
Bernardo Silva is likely to interchange with Phil Foden in London this week, as we expect the versatile Portuguese playmaker to make his return for this one and operate in the wide-right role of a front-three.
Julian Alvarez’s brace on his birthday might have earned him a place on the bench unfortunately this week, as the long-awaited return of Erling Haaland looks set to happen for this fixture.
Jack Grealish was an unused substitute on Wednesday night, but we think the Englisman will replace summer signing Jeremy Doku for this one, completing the starting line-up for the fixture at Brentford.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden; Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish.
Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Lewis, Akanji, Gvardiol, Kovacic, Nunes, Bobb, Alvarez, Doku.
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