Walker, Stones, Akanji out – Man City predicted team vs Arsenal in Guardiola worst case scenario

By Staff

Manchester City boss Guardiola is facing a bit of a headache ahead of their Pep Guardiola. The international break has left him with injuries to Kyle Walker, John Stones and Manuel Akanji.

This means that instead of having a full team ready for Sunday’s Premier League title clash, at least two of his key defenders might be out due to injuries picked up while playing for their countries.

City have been known to take risks with injured players in important matches, but if none of the three doubtful players can make it, there’s not much they can do. Despite being one of the wealthiest teams around, just like in the previous game where Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne were missing, Guardiola will have to make the best of what he’s got.

From a defensive perspective, a lot of responsibility will fall on one of their priciest signings and a freebie. Guardiola has not used Rico Lewis much in 2024, but the academy graduate could be their best option at right-back.

Josko Gvardiol, a young centre-back who was signed for £77.5million, has mostly been playing as a left-back at City. He’s likely to play alongside Lewis, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake, but it might be better to have Ake out wide to handle Bukayo Saka and let Gvardiol play in his preferred position.

Kevin De Bruyne is expected to be fit and ready to make an immediate impact, so he seems like a clear choice to play with Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Erling Haaland. The last spot will depend on how well Jack Grealish has recovered.

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Grealish was part of the squad for the Newcastle match after recovering from a couple of groin injuries, but he didn’t join England because Gareth Southgate didn’t think he’d be ready. If he’s managed to improve his fitness in Manchester over the past two weeks, he should be chosen over Jeremy Doku or Julian Alvarez to bring the skills he showed on the left wing last season when City won the treble.

City look set to have a strong side going forward, but their defensive concerns could play into Arsenal’s hands, particularly if goalkeeper Ederson is missing too.

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