Saturday, January 29, 2022

Guardiola To Make Changes: Predicted 4-3-3 Manchester City Lineup To Face RB Leipzig

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Manchester City have already secured a place in the Champions League knockouts as group winners with a game in hand and Pep Guardiola, therefore, should opt for rotation ahead of travelling to Germany to lock horns with RB Leipzig on Tuesday night. The Skyblues are also leading the Premier League race following Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham and the superiority must be maintained in the wake of the upcoming fixture congestion.

Leipzig, on the other hand, have parted ways with Jesse Marsch due to a dreadful Bundesliga run. They might still find a place in the Europa League with a victory against the Citizens, however, the star-studded English giants would still be a formidable force with immense bench strength.

Predicted 4-3-3 Manchester City Lineup To Face RB Leipzig

Defence

As the game has no significance from Man City’s perspective, the gaffer should rest Ederson in favour of  Zack Steffen between the sticks. The USMNT international has impressed in limited minutes, and therefore, deserves another Champions League outing after making his debut last year against Olympique de Marseille.

Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez in action against Leipzig
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City takes on Willi Orban of RB Leipzig during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at Etihad Stadium on September 15, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Kyle Walker should retain his place as a right fullback, but the likes of Nathan Ake and John Stones might fancy their opportunities replacing Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias. In-form Joao Cancelo deserves a few days off as the Skyblues have Oleksandr Zinchenko in their ranks to slot in as a left-back.

Midfield

Kevin De Bruyne returned against Watford as a second-half substitute recovering from Covid-19. He needs more minutes ahead of the weekend’s Wolves game and a start against Leipzig would help him regain match fitness. Ilkay Gundogan is expected to drive the show from the centre of the pitch, whereas the manager might rest Rodri to make way for veteran Fernandinho deep down the midfield. Bernardo Silva is enjoying a scintillating run but his minutes must be managed sensibly to keep him fit during the festive season.

Attack

Jack Grealish has been utilized as a ‘number 10’ even though he is more suited as a wide attacker. The Englishman should be shifted down the left allowing Gabriel Jesus to spearhead the attack versus the German heavyweights. Riyad Mahrez is likely to find a place in the starting XI and operate from the right-hand flank. Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling would be dropped if Mahrez and Jesus get the nod this midweek. Ferran Torres continues his recovery from a metatarsal injury and won’t be rushed back.

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