Pep Guardiola will look to start his quest of clinching five back to back domestic cup titles as a manager, as Manchester City host Burnley in the FC Cup round three on Saturday.
The gruelling festive schedule finally took the better of the Citizens earlier this month as they were held by Crystal Palace in a pulsating 0:0 draw. However, the Premier League leaders did register a morale-boosting victory against Watford in midweek and will be charged up before their next encounter against a Burnley, who are in good form this season.
Burnley, on the other hand, are coming on the back of a disappointing last-minute defeat to Liverpool and will be desperate to end their five-game winless streak. While Pep Guardiola also looks to stretch his good record in domestic cup competitions.
Here’s the predicted 4-3-3 Manchester City lineup to face Burnley this weekend.
Ederson Moraes’ crucial final minute penalty save, saved Pep Guardiola’s blushes against Crystal Palace. However, the former Benfica is likely to be replaced with second choice keeper Claudio Bravo this weekend.
Pep Guardiola might plan to rest key fullback Kyle Walker in this one, with Danilo being favoured to start in the right back position while Fabian Delph starts from the left.
The Spanish boss has confirmed that he will miss the services of Vincent Kompany, meaning Ellaquim Mangala could be a potential starter alongside Nicolas Otamendi in central defence. Key defender John Stones will likely be rested for this clash while Benjamin Mendy is out due to a long-term injury.
Guardiola is also unsure about the availability of David Silva this weekend, following the premature birth of his baby, meaning Ilkay Gundogan will be a definite starter in the centre of the park. The former Borussia Dortmund midfield maestro is steadily improving his game following an injury-plagued career in the Premier League so far.
Yaya Toure could also be handed a start as Phil Foden will miss the game after picking up an ankle ligament injury. The Ivorian might partner Oleksandr Zinchenko in midfield.
Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva are expected to be deployed as wingers by Pep Guardiola. Sane, in particular, has been an extraordinary scoring form this season while Bernardo Silva is still looking for his breakthrough into the first eleven.
Sergio Aguero will most likely be rested after starting midweek’s game against Watford. Gabriel Jesus will be deployed as the main centre-forward, in his stead.
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