Man City predicted line-up vs Everton: Two major changes made as £148m duo return to starting XI
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Manchester City are really beginning to build up a head of steam in the race for this season's Premier League title. The defending champions have spent much of the campaign lurking in the shadows, just behind leaders Liverpool, but are now just two points off the summit with a game in hand, and could leapfrog the Reds depending on results elsewhere this weekend.
Pep Guardiola's side host Everton at the Etihad in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off having won five games on the bounce in the league, and will be quietly confident of their chances of picking up all three points again against a team who haven't beaten them since 2017.
For their part, Sean Dyche's men are currently languishing in the relegation zone, and haven't won in the Premier League since December 16th, when they saw off fellow strugglers Burnley. They have, however, drawn their last three outings in the top flight.
But how will both sides line up in Manchester on Saturday? We've taken a look at their respective team news, and predicted starting XIs, below...
Manchester City Team News
Manchester City are in the fortuitous position of having no injury absences to worry about at the present moment in time. Indeed, they are just about the only side in the Premier League to whom that statement is applicable, and their clean bill of health will no doubt represent another reason as to why their nearest rivals are increasingly worried by the threat the champions pose.
In terms of team selection, then, Guardiola has a full dressing room to pick from, and it remains to be seen how heavily he tinkers with the side who beat Brentford 3-1 on Monday night. John Stones could return at the heart of defence in place of Nathan Ake, perhaps, while Jack Grealish may be given a first Premier League start of 2024. Otherwise, don't be surprised to see a largely unchanged side this weekend.
Manchester City Predicted XI
Ederson; Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Josko Gvardiol; Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden; Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland, Bernardo Silva.
Everton Team News
By contrast, Everton could be without a handful of key first team players heading into their trip to Manchester. Midfield pairing Andre Gomes and Dele Alli are both set to remain out for the foreseeable future, although in the case of the latter, his manager has spoken positively about his rehabilitation from a groin complaint, stating: 'There was a bit of a debate as to whether to [operate] or not, which is why it took some time, so now he'll be recovering from that. There are no timescales [but] the early signs are good.'
Elsewhere, Arnaut Danjuma and Abdoulaye Doucoure are both nearing returns to fitness, but may have to wait until later in the month to make their comebacks, but there is better news regarding Amadou Onana, who has been included in first team training recently, and could feature in some capacity against City. Ben Godfrey has been passed fit and should be available for selection.
Everton Predicted XI
Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Jarrad Branthwaite, James Tarkowski, Vitaliy Mykolenko; Ashley Young, Idrissa Gueye, James Garner, Dwight McNeil; Jack Harrison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.