Friday, August 12, 2022

Ake, Fernandinho And Steffen To Start | Predicted 4-3-3 Manchester City Lineup Vs Fulham

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Manchester City restart their campaign on Saturday when they take on Fulham in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. The Citizens are heading into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Southampton that put an end to their excellent winning run of domestic competitions. Pep Guardiola’s men will be hoping to rekindle that form this weekend, up against a Fulham side looking to cause a major upset.

Predicted Manchester City Lineup Vs Fulham

Defence

With a lot of players including Ederson Moraes coming back from international duty in midweek, Pep Guardiola has every reason to make chops and changes to his team this week.

Zack Steffen, in particular, is in line for a start in goal, whereas Nathan Akae is hoping for a rare opportunity as well, ahead of Aymeric Laporte. The Dutchman has had yet another difficult season, struggling with a lack of game-time, but he will be tasked with the responsibility of keeping the Fulham offence quiet this weekend.

Ake is likely to be accompanied by John Stones at the heart of the four-man backline, with Joao Cancelo completing the back-four that is desperate for a clean sheet after conceding a draw against Southampton last time out.

Manchester City (Steffen)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Zack Steffen of Manchester City reacts during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on October 27, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
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Midfield

Given the crucial Premier League game against Brentford in midweek, Guardiola might opt for a few changes in midfield as well. Fernandinho, in particular, is a favourite to occupy the defensive midfield role, ahead of Rodri.

Alongside the experienced Brazilian, Ilkay Gundogan is likely to form the advanced midfield partnership alongside Bernardo Silva. The two could play a vital role in offering the creative essence in the middle of the park, though it will be interesting to see if Guardiola provides opportunities to younger players such as James McAtee.

Attack

Riyad Mahrez is finally back in contention for Manchester City following Algeria’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations. The winger has had a week’s rest and is now gunning for a return to the starting eleven.

Mahrez is set to occupy the right-wing slot against Fulham, with Jack Grealish being deployed on the opposite flank. Alongside Phil Foden, the three will form the free-flowing attacking setup of Manchester City, as it looks to breach the defences of Marco Silva’s men.

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