After a good run of form, the Manchester City squad scheduled to take on Liverpool could see Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker miss out through injury.
Manchester City’s form has been good in all competitions lately. Pep Guardiola’s team advanced to the Champions League semi-finals with a 1-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid.
The previous game was against this weekend’s rival, Liverpool. He finished with honors even at 2-2, which means manchester city he maintained his one-point lead in the title race.
City’s run in the FA Cup before the semi-final has been a good one. In fact, they have scored 10 goals in the last three rounds; City beat Southampton 4-1 in the quarter-finals.
Guardiola may be forced to field a weaker team than he would have wanted this weekend. Injuries to a couple of star players could sideline them.
The Spanish coach referred to that in his pre-match press conference. “We’ll see tomorrow,” he said of De Bruyne and Walker, who were sent off in the second half against Atletico.
However, Ruben Dias could return from injury. Guardiola mentioned that the center-back had trained, although he did not participate in the week.
He also hinted that regular FA Cup goalkeeper Zak Steffen would start, despite the occasion. The technician said that he “was going to think” about starting the American.
Last time out: Manchester City 0-0 Atlético de Madrid
With the Champions League tie far from over after the first leg, Guardiola opted for a strong team against Atlético.
Ederson started in the net, with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte playing in the center of defence, Ruben Dias was still out.
Walker, who was injured, started at right back, with Joao Cancelo on the left. The defense blocked Atlético’s attack with both legs.
Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri and another now injured, De Bruyne, were starters in midfield.
Bernardo Silva was used further up the pitch, on the left wing. He played attacking with Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez, both booked.
Manchester City’s predicted squad against Liverpool
Guardiola has a fine line to walk as he will want to ensure quality in his team against Liverpool but not risk aggravating injuries.
Steffen could start at net following the coach’s comments, although it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he goes with Ederson. Dias could return at center back, in partnership with the Stones.
Cancelo could move to right back, given Walker’s injury. Laporte could switch to left back, a position he has played 13 times in his career.
Silva will likely fall into a deeper role, alongside Rodri and Gundogan; De Bruyne may not be fit to start, but he could come off the bench if he can, given his impact in last weekend’s 2-2 draw, in which he scored the opening goal.
Guardiola could return to the attack he started in last week’s draw with the Reds. Gabriel Jesus has registered four goal participations in the last four meetings between the sides, including his goal of the weekend. He could play Foden, who has a sublime record against Liverpool, and Sterling, whose pace could upset Liverpool’s defensive line.
Manchester City XI planned: Steffen; I cancel, Stones, Days, Laporte; Silva, Rodri, DeBruyne; Jesus, Foden, Sterling
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