...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
Manchester City faces a crucial Premier League match against Everton, sandwiched between their Champions League encounter with Real Madrid.
The tie with Real Madrid hangs in the balance at 1-1, and City is eager to make progress in Europe.
Pep Guardiola’s team selection against Everton raises questions about potential rotation, although Guardiola emphasized that changes would not be made for the sake of it.
Guardiola’s Substitution Strategy:
In the previous match against Real Madrid, Guardiola opted not to make any substitutions.
This decision could suggest that he plans to rotate the squad against Everton.
However, Guardiola dismissed the notion of making changes for the sake of it in his press conference.
He emphasized that deserving players would earn their place on the field, considering the importance of the remaining games in the season.
Guardiola’s Squad Assessment:
Guardiola acknowledged that there are players who have been crucial to the team’s success and their contributions will be taken into account when determining the lineup.
He mentioned that there is still time until the end of the season, and players need to demonstrate their worth to earn their spot.
Guardiola also provided an update on Nathan Ake’s condition, stating that the defender is improving but is unlikely to be risked against Everton.
Aymeric Laporte is expected to start on the left side of defense.
Potential Squad Changes:
In the forward areas, Guardiola could introduce Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, and Julian Alvarez into the starting lineup.
Erling Haaland, who received positive remarks from Guardiola regarding his fitness, is likely to feature as well.
Guardiola expressed confidence in Haaland’s recovery and emphasized that the player had performed well in the intense match against Real Madrid.
Predicted Manchester City Starting XI:
Based on the available information, the predicted Manchester City starting lineup against Everton is as follows: Ederson, Akanji, Dias, Laporte, Lewis, Rodri, Mahrez, Alvarez, De Bruyne, Foden, Haaland.
Manchester City’s clash with Everton presents a dilemma for Pep Guardiola regarding squad rotation.
With an important Champions League fixture against Real Madrid on the horizon, Guardiola faces the challenge of managing his squad’s fitness and form.
While Guardiola indicated that changes would not be made arbitrarily, he emphasized the need for players to prove their worth and earn their place on the field.
The potential inclusion of players like Mahrez, Foden, and Alvarez provides depth and attacking options for City.
The fitness of Erling Haaland is a positive sign, as he is expected to play a key role in the upcoming matches.
Guardiola’s squad selection will be crucial in ensuring City’s competitiveness on both domestic and European fronts.