Manchester City host Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad on Saturday evening, with the Citizens aiming to continue their imperious run of form while Spurs aim to dig themselves out from three successive Premier League defeats. City boss Pep Guardiola is still without record signing Jack Grealish due to injury, and he faces a tough selection call in defence. Express Sport looks at how the Spaniard could set out his side against the Lilywhites.
Goalkeeper – Ederson
There is little doubt that Guardiola will continue to select the Brazilian in goal, as Ederson blazes a trail in the Premier League clean sheet charts.
So far this season, the 28-year-old has kept the opposition at bay in 14 of his 24 outings, with City boasting the best defensive record in the division.
Back-up option Zack Steffen has performed solidly when called upon in cup competitions but Ederson, who possesses such magic in his feet as well as his hands, will get the nod and will likely to relish Saturday’s battle against Spurs’ talented attackers.
Defence – Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo
Guardiola has been hugely complimentary of John Stones, who started out of position at right-back in two of City’s last three games.
The former Everton defender has found game time hard to come by this campaign, but the jet-heeled Kyle Walker is expected to come back into the fold.
Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte have built a formidable partnership this term, while Joao Cancelo may well have trumped them all on the left flank.
The right-footed Portuguese is often found stepping up into midfield, and has developed into one of City’s main attacking weapons, making himself virtually undroppable under Guardiola.
Midfield – De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo
As the Sky Blues continue on their superb run of form, which has seen them collect 43 Premier League points from a possible 45, the incentive for Guardiola to switch things up may be at an all-time low.
And the Spaniard will need his top talent against Antonio Conte’s Tottenham, who are expected to fight for every ball as they attempt to close the gap on the top four.
Bernardo Silva had a super outing against old foes Sporting Lisbon in midweek, scoring twice.
Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri are no slouches either, and they are likely to keep their places despite some nice touches from Ilkay Gundogan during his Tuesday-night cameo.
Attack – Mahrez, Foden, Sterling
While Guardiola has tended to rotate his attacking trio in years gone by, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling have forged a strong bond in recent weeks.
With goals usually shared out amongst a team that does not have the luxury of a senior striker, the trio make up three of City’s top four scorers in all competitions this season.
Mahrez tops the list with 17, Sterling’s upturn in form after a slow start has been striking as he sits on 13, while Foden has six assists to go with his nine-goal haul.
Grealish may have been in contention to start if he had recovered from a shin problem, but Guardiola claims he will not be in action against Spurs.
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