How Man City should line up vs Brighton in the Premier League

Pep Guardiola will start to prepare his squad to face Manchester United in the FA Cup final and Inter Milan in the Champions League final, after celebrating their Premier League title win over the weekend.

Confirmed champions without kicking a ball on Saturday night, City made plenty of changes against Chelsea on Sunday, resting the majority of their key players from Ederson to Rodri and Erling Haaland. Pep Guardiola insists that the best way to prepare for the finals against United and Inter will be to keep up their impressive winning run in their final two Premier League games against Brighton and Brentford.

Nathan Ake was available again against Chelsea on Sunday, joining the squad at the Etihad, but was not named in the 20-man matchday squad. Guardiola suggested he may not be ready for Brighton, but he could equally be eased back into action over the next two games to give him a chance of featuring in the two upcoming finals.

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Read how our writers think City should line up at Brighton, and use the interactive team selector below to pick your best starting XI …

Simon Bajkowski

Stefan Ortega performed well against Chelsea and with nothing riding on this game deserves another opportunity. Ederson will not need to have rhythm to step back between the posts.

Rico Lewis also impressed and can play the role he started for the team this season, with Aymeric Laporte and Manu Akanji also keeping their places in defence. A return to Rodri though can signal the need for City to maintain their standards as they prepare for two finals.

Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, and Julian Alvarez can all press their case to be involved in those games if Guardiola is tempted to stray from his winning formula against Real and Bayern. Erling Haaland had a rest on Sunday but can lead the line here.

Pick your best team here:

Joe Bray

I’d go strong after making all those changes against Chelsea, with any rotation done from the bench. Of the players who got their chance at the weekend, I’d keep Rico Lewis in to give Kyle Walker a rest, moving Walker back to right-back. And Phil Foden impressed in the centre, so could stay there as Kevin De Bruyne returns.

The rest of the team should be a mix of starters in both upcoming finals, and those looking to force their way into the team. Aymeric Laporte can give Ruben Dias another break, while Nathan Ake could come off the bench if he’s fit enough to make a return.

In attack, Riyad Mahrez should get the chance to show he’s worthy of starting one of the finals, and Erling Haaland can get the chance to add to his 36 league goals.

Tyrone Marshall

It’s very rare for Guardiola to rotate twice in as many games and I think we will see a stronger side here. He will want his players to maintain their rhythm heading into two cup finals.

I’d go back to the usual back four at the moment, with the aim of bringing Ake off the bench at some point if he is fit enough to be part of the squad.

One player I would rest is De Bruyne, who has looked exhausted recently. He might benefit from another night off with a view to starting the next three games. That would mean Rodri and Gundogan in midfield and I would give Alvarez another start, this time in that role behind Haaland.

Foden is another who deserves a start to build up his fitness. He and Alvarez could be key off the bench in either final. Bernardo can take a break again, with Haaland and Grealish back in the side.