Kevin De Bruyne could make his first start in the Premier League this season against Southampton.
The brilliant Belgian made his long-awaited return to action for Manchester City in their 6-3 victory over RB Leipzig on Wednesday, and he took no time to get back to his best as he put in an excellent display.
Pep Guardiola has repeatedly spoken of how difficult playing the Saints will be, so it stands to reason that he will play his best player in the middle of the park after his successful comeback.
The back-line near picks itself since John Stones and Aymeric Laporte are both ruled out for the match. Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake, despite the death of his father on Wednesday, will almost certainly partner in the heart of the defence, with Kyle Walker likely coming back into the side after being rested mid-week.
Rodri may keep his role in the holding midfield role, despite seemingly picking up a small knock against the Germans, but who joins the Spaniard and De Bruyne in midfield might be interesting.
Guardiola has plenty of options but it’s likely that his most trusted lieutenant, Ilkay Gundogan, will get the nod after he didn’t start against Leipzig either.
It would be harsh on Bernardo Silva to be dropped from the side after his fine start to the season so, instead, he may be pushed further forward onto the right of attack.
In turn, that would push Gabriel Jesus out of the position in which he has played so well so far this campaign but it could be interesting to see him get a chance through the middle while he’s on a hot streak. Though Ferran Torres has been impressive, he has missed plenty of chances recently and started every game so far – so a rest may do him good.
The final spot in the XI, the left of the attack, must certainly remain with Jack Grealish after his brilliant showing on his European debut.
Predicted Man City XI vs Southampton: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo, Jesus, Grealish.
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