Manchester City suffered a demoralizing loss in their Champions League opener as they were beaten by French giants Lyon in front of a half-packed Etihad stadium on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola’s side have already dropped a couple of points in the Premier League and cannot afford to be complacent in their chase of glory. They have a run of easy fixtures awaiting them this month and the next, and they start with a trip to Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.
With two draws and three losses in five games, Neil Warnock’s side faced Arsenal and Chelsea in their last couple of games. They failed to show enough fight to get a point and are not expected to stop City in this tie. The visitors also need to make a statement in this tie that they are still the best team in England and Pep would hope that his side can get the job done without much fuss. Here is the predicted lineup he might field for this tie, in search of three crucial points:
In early team news, Kevin de Bruyne, Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy are all but ruled out for this game against Cardiff City. Danilo is back in training and could make the squad as he remains the only other injury concern ahead of this game for Pep Guardiola.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Ederson had a tough time against Lyon in the Champions League earlier this week. He will, however, hope for a more relaxed outing against the Blue Birds this weekend. Aymeric Laporte has been impressive this season at the back and should keep his place in the side for this tie. He could be partnered with club captain Vincent Kompany, giving John Stones a break.
In the absence of Mendy, Fabian Delph, who had a forgettable game on Wednesday, could keep his place in the side at left-back. Kyle Walker remains the best option for Pep at right-back and he would hope to have more of an effect in the attack for his side.
Fernandinho also had a tough time against the Ligue 1 side. But he is usually effective in a no.6 role and could be back making more of an impact in the middle of the park this weekend. Using Bernardo Silva as a part of the midfield has worked well so far this season and Pep has no reason to make a change.
But it will be David Silva who would have to add some spark from the midfield. He will have to be kept quiet if Cardiff City are to take anything from this game.
Sergio Aguero came off the bench against Lyon but did not get enough time to change things around. However, he would definitely be starting this game.
Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling both scored a goal each in the victory over Fulham last weekend and Pep might stick with the same duo on the wings, to give Manchester City the best chance to claim all three points.
Here is how they might line up: