Manchester City may have new signing Reuben Dias, they believe the upswing behind the way to win in the Premier League at Leeds.
City beat Leicester 5-2 last weekend, boosting confidence at Midwick’s Burnley 3-0 before advancing to the Carabao Cup.
Pep Guardiola played a strong side on Turf Moore, but the likes of Phil Foden and Nathan Ake relaxed, while Amerik Leporte and Bernardo Silva got a few much needed minutes under their belt.
And while Guardiola has confirmed that City will still be without Ilk Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus, he will be able to introduce Dias to the team after signing a record with his new side this week.
Read how our writers think the city should have a line-up on Eland Road today and use an interactive widget to choose your own side.
No doubt, the Blues need to be as strong as possible to win this game, as Leeds are live opponents.
That means there is no relief for front-line players who lost to Lester from their system by playing at Burnley in midweek.
Asking Reuben Dias, especially in such a strategic battle, after just two days of training, is too much, and after returning to the American port, no gambling is needed.
Phil Fode should also return, giving the side a little more mobility, even if it means abandoning the double pivot.
Liam Dalepp is also unprepared for this, so Rahim could be the center of an attack inspired by his two goals at Sterling Midweek.
If I’m available I can put Dias from the start – which he should have played for Benfica last week and get a few training sessions under his belt. With Guardiola’s demands there should be no pressure on him until he is fully fastened, but the defense Leicester faced was at the time so he should at least give the rear a chance.
The rest of the team likes themselves a lot, while Rodrigo and Fernandinho hope they have the same impact as the Wolves against Leicester.
With Leeds in the attacking spot, City could try to catch them on the counter with a new Phil Foden, Fern Torres in form and the always-living Rahim Sterling – set as usual by Kevin de Bryan.
Choose your best starting XI here:
No questions can be raised about Dias’ health after his signing, but I still think that after some training sessions under Guardiola it is very likely that the game will be thrown out in a Premier League match. Leeds.
For some reason, the left foot seems to run into a partnership, but I see no reason why Ake and Leke can’t work with Porte and may need Dutchman’s mobility against Leeds’ attacking pace.
Speed and endurance will likely play a major part in the game, with Leeds relentlessly pressing City and as a result I will leave a double axis that includes both Rodrigo and Fernandinho, especially after the defeat of Leicester, the Brazilian in the team. Instead, I’ll start with Bernardo, after his return in the middle of the week, whose immense energy will help him cope a little better.
Despite his impressive performance against Burnley, I would put Firon Torres in favor of Phil Foden, as he is even more suitable for catching the ball and helping defensively.
Total coffee specialist. Hardcore reader. Incurable music scholar. Web guru. Freelance troublemaker. Problem solver. Travel trailblazer.