Dias and Grealish to start — Man City predicted line up vs Watford


Manchester City will be looking to create a four-point gap at the top of the Premier League table when they welcome Watford to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Pep Guardiola’s side retained first place on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion, just 24 hours after Liverpool demolished local rivals Manchester United at Anfield. A single point still separates the two titanic title rivals, but City could put massive pressure on Liverpool’s meeting with Everton on Sunday by beating the Hornets.

The Blues have an excellent record against Saturday’s opponents — winning on every single occasion since a 1-1 draw in 2007. In the reverse fixture, Bernardo Silva was on fire and scored a magnificent brace on the way to a 3-1 victory at Vicarage Road – Raheem Sterling was City’s other scorer that day.

READMORE: Riyad Mahrez can set incredible Man City record this season

With some major injury concerns to deal with, Guardiola may have to shuffle his pack in defense to accommodate the limited options in that area of ​​the field. Both Nathan Aké and John Stones limped off in the game against Brighton, while Kyle Walker is still recovering from a ‘big twist’ suffered in the Champions League.

as usual, Ederson will be between the sticks, looking to keep pace with Alisson in the race for his third consecutive Golden Glove. Joao Cancelo could well be City’s only fit and available right-back, with Stones and Walker not likely to be risked.

Aké started at left-back in midweek, but his substitution at half-time signaled the Dutchman is struggling with an injury of his own, so Oleksandr Zinchenko will look to kickstart some form just at the right time. That would leave Ruben Days and Aymeric Laporte — the only two available central defenders — to complete the backline.

City supporters have questioned whether Fernandinho is still able to deal with the pace of the Premier League, but this is the sort of fixture Guardiola would preferably like to give rodry to rest. However, the Spaniard is likely to start given the absolute necessity to pick up all three points, with any slip-up now costly.



Rodri will likely get the nod over his positional counterpart Fernandinho at the weekend

In front of him, Bernardo Silva has played a lot of football and will want a little rest before and intense 90 minutes against Real Madrid on Tuesday. that means Kevin DeBruyne — who is in red-hot form — may be partnered by Ilkay Gundogan in central midfield.

We could see a complete rotation in the forward line with Real Madrid in mind, however. gabriel jesus is likely to replace Riyad Mahrez on the right, with his direct pressing causing Watford nightmares on many previous occasions. Jack Grealish will still want to have his say in the title run-in and build on his FA Cup semi-final strike against Liverpool.

Rounding off the starting 11 should be Raheem Sterlingwho is still battling with Mahrez for the starting birth at right-wing in the big games.

Predicted City starting XI vs Watford: Edison; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Sterling, Grealish, Jesus.




www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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