Manchester City is one of those rare clubs who can boast of having a star player in every position so much so that some of them have to warp the benches as others get a go in the playing XI. Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Ederson and Riyad Mahrez are only a few of an otherwise star studded team.
Talking about their game plan, if we take out an odd looking 3-4-1-2 formation that Pep decided to play around the end of the last season, the Manchester side will most probably lineup in a 4-3-3 formation. Although, in their first Premier League match against the Wolves, the team played a 4-2-3-1 formation with Gabriel Jesus playing as the lone striker.
The one thing that can be concluded from this formation is that much like the last season, City is unsure about its defence going into this season as well. So in front of the back four, Pep probably felt the need to have two central defending midfielders in the form of Rodri and Fernandinho. While Rodri played in the gap between left back Mendy and centre back Ake, Fernandinho was slotted between John Stones and Walker.
What this did to the team’s formation is that it became a bit more defensive and so the usual wingers Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden had to play as wide attacking midfielders with Kevin De Bruyne between them playing as a central attacking midfielder. Keeping in mind that only one substitution was made by Pep Guardiola, expect an almost unchanged XI come Sunday. So here are the predictions:
Defence : Benjamin Mendy, Nathan Ake, John Stones and Kyle Walker
The defence is also expected to remain unchanged. Now Pep would have wanted to have Kalidou Koulibaly and Aymeric Laporte playing as his two centre backs but Napoli wouldn’t budge with the asking price of their star defender while Laporte was found coronavirus positive a fortnight ago. Although the full backs at City are one of the best in their respective positions and Pep could have some positives going into the game against the Foxes. Stones looks to have another chance for redemption as well as resurgence of his future at the Etihad, alongside Ake.
Midfield : Raheem Sterling, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Phil Foden
Kevin De Bruyne is expected to continue as an attacking midfielder with Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden at either side of him operating wide through the midfield. Fernandinho and Rodri will slot in as central defensive midfielders above the expected defensive four.
Attack : Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus is expected to get an extended run as a lone striker up front. Keeping in mind the attacking nature of the Leicester side, Pep Guardiola would definitely want to keep a defensive shape.
Predicted Formation: 4-2-3-1
Man City Predicted XI vs Leicester: Ederson, Ferland mendy, Nathan Ake, John Stones and Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, Rodri, Kevin DeBruyne, Fernandinho and Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus