Man City predicted XI vs. Leicester: Pep starts 36-year-old duo, Torres retains striker role
It’s safe to say that Manchester City vs. Leicester City will be an intriguing match to watch this weekend following dramatic updates from Brazil in recent days.
As reported by BBC Sport, the Brazilian FA have triggered a clause to FIFA which denies called-up players for playing any professional football for the next five days. As a result, numerous Premier League sides will be without key names, including City.
The news means that both Ederson Moraes and Gabriel Jesus will miss out this weekend’s clash against Leicester for Manchester City. With Zack Steffen also still in the States due to a positive COVID-19 case, and you can begin to understand why this clash will be one to behold.
So, who could start for Manchester City this weekend against Leicester? We take a stab at what our predicted XI will be…
Carson to marshall defence for Manchester City vs. Leicester
No Ederson or Steffen? No problem. Sadly, Kyle Walker won’t be taking up the gloves as he did against Atalanta two seasons ago. Instead, Scott Carson will likely make only his second ever Premier League start for City.
The 36-year-old shot-stopper joined the Premier League champions on a full-time basis this summer. And Carson will be eager to impress for City.
Ahead of him, we’ve gone for the aforementioned Walker and Joao Cancelo as fullbacks. With Ruben Dias and a revitalised Aymeric Laporte completing the defence.
Fernandinho to return to midfield
With Kevin De Bruyne back to full fitness for Manchester City, it would make sense it start the Belgian superstar against Leicester.
However, with the Premier League champions kicking off their UEFA Champions League campaign the following Wednesday against RB Leipzig, Pep Guardiola could choose to rest his creative talisman.
Because of this, club captain Fernandinho could return to the XI with Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri supporting the 36-year-old Brazilian midfielder, who is free to play given that he was not selected by the South American nation over the international break.
Torres retains striker berth
One player who City will miss outfield due to Brazil, though, is Jesus. And it’s a huge blow for the Manchester giants, with the attacker being one of the club’s in-form players this season. However, it’s not all doom-and-gloom.
Raheem Sterling is a readymade replacement to take over from the Brazilian on the flank. And with Ferran Torres likely to retain his centre-forward role with Jack Grealish completing the attack, Manchester City have more than enough firepower and creativity to cause Leicester some serious damage.
Manchester City predicted XI vs. Leicester City: Carson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Sterling, Torres, Grealish