Predicted XI

Foden to fill De Bruyne void – How Manchester City could line up against West Brom

Pep Guardiola will be without his Belgian star for a key period of football coming up.

10:36am on Monday 25th January 2021
Nicholas Hughes

Manchester City will begin Premier League life without Kevin De Bruyne for the next little while when they travel to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion.

City rotated heavily in the FA Cup and almost suffered a shock defeat to Cheltenham, and their starting XI will take up a much more familiar look for Tuesday night.

Ederson will come back in between the sticks and Kyle Walker could return at right-back. The former Spurs man missed the cup tie after picking up a knock to his hamstring in last week’s win over Aston Villa.

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John Stones and Ruben Dias have emerged as a league-leading centre-back partnership in recent weeks and should continue in that department, while Joao Cancelo should resume at left-back.

The Portuguese set up Phil Foden for City’s equaliser at Cheltenham, and the City youngster is the obvious choice to remain in midfield in De Bruyne’s absence.

The 20-year-old has scored in every competition he has played in, with four of those coming in the Premier League.

In terms of goalscoring midfielders, llkay Gundogan has bagged four in his last five in the Premier League and should line up in midfield alongside Foden and Rodri.

Bernardo Silva is slowly working back to his best, with his brilliant goal breaking the deadlock against Villa last Wednesday. He is likely to come back into the front three alongside Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.

City are still lacking slightly in consistency from the centre-forward position, but that hasn’t stopped Pep Guardiola’s side from opening up a 10-game winning streak in all competitions.

The Citizens haven’t lost a game since November and are hitting their stride as others around them falter in the title race.

Despite some injury issues creeping in, City’s line-up remains formidable and their momentum should spur them on to continue in their quest to regain the Premier League title.

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