Manchester City will be looking to make a winning start to the defence of their Premier League title crown when they travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face Spurs on Sunday afternoon.
City, who stormed their way to their fifth Premier League title last season, are hoping to spoil Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo’s first competitive game in charge of the north London club.
On top of that, the Blues, who were beaten 2-0 on their last visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, will also be looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Leicester City in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.
Unfortunately for City boss Pep Guardiola, who has added Jack Grealish to his squad in a huge £100million deal this summer, he will not be able to name as strong a line-up as he would have liked to, with injury issues and players reporting back late from international duty denying the club a pre-season campaign at full strength.
Nevertheless, Guardiola still has a huge pool of talent from which to choose, meaning they should have enough about them to secure their very first victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Despite only returning to training on Tuesday morning, Brazilian shot-stopper Ederson is expected to start between the sticks for City this weekend. Zack Steffen started the defeat to Leicester and is ahead of Ederson in regards to fitness levels, but the Brazilian is poised to get the nod.
The back-four is likely to see Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Ruben Dias and Benjamin Mendy all start. Of the three pre-season outings City did have, plus the FA Community Shield, Cancelo, Dias and Mendy all featured heavily, meaning they will all be in good condition to start.
As for Stones, like Ederson, he only returned to training on Tuesday, but is expected to be thrown straight into the side to replace Nathan Ake at centre-back.
Pick your City team to face Tottenham here:
It is in midfield where Guardiola will face the toughest selection choices. Both Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will definitely miss out through injury, but he still has plenty of options available to him to fill those gaps. Youngster Cole Palmer, who started against Leicester, is likely to drop out, paving the way for Rodri to come in and join Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho in the midfield three.
As for the front three, Riyad Mahrez is a certain starter after being a constant threat in pre-season and will almost certainly line up either through the middle or on the right. Should he start in his natural wide role, it is possible that Ferran Torres will be deployed through the middle as Gabriel Jesus only returned to training a matter of days ago. Grealish should line up on the left of the front three, leaving Raheem Sterling on the bench.
Predicted City XI vs Spurs: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez, Torres, Grealish.
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