Date: 31st August 2022 at 1:13pm
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Manchester City host Nottingham Forest on Wednesday with Pep Guardiola’s side looking to leapfrog Arsenal into pole position in the Premier League. 

City will be relying on The Gunners slipping up against Aston Villa if they are to move top of the pile, but Guardiola may use the visit of newly-promoted Forest as a chance to rotate his squad ahead of a busy schedule ahead.

Here, we take a look at the Xi that Guardiola could choose to face Forest.


Ederson has kept two clean sheets so far this season but has conceded five goals in his last two games. The Brazilian is almost certain to start on Wednesday, and will be hoping to add to his tally against a team that have scored just two goals so far this season.


Joao Cancelo could return to his natural position at right-back for the visit of Forest, with Kyle Walker potentially dropping to the bench. Walker has missed just eight minutes of football so far this season, so is a candidate to be rested ahead of the start of the Champions League group stages next week.

Stones is likely to start with Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte both injured

In the middle, Nathan Ake is unlikely to be thrown straight back into the line up after recovering from injury, so John Stones and Ruben Dias will more than likely partner one another again. Aymeric Laporte remains sidelined through injury.

On the left, Sergio Gomez could be in line for a first start in City colours, having made his debut as a substitute in the Citizens’ win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Spaniard joined from Anderlecht recently and becomes Guardiola’s only senior left-back following the departure of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal.

Cancelo could be moved to right-back


There could be one notable omission from City’s midfield, with Kevin de Bruyne possibly set to be rested ahead of a busy period over the coming weeks. City face Aston Villa, Sevilla and Tottenham Hotspur in the space of a week starting on Saturday, so Ilkay Gundogan could replace the Belgian. The Germany international has been in good form so far this term, scoring twice and providing one assist.

Rodri could also be rested, having started all four games so far. Kalvin Phillips has been struggling with injury and has only played four minutes of football for City so far, but he could be in line for his first start for the club if passed fit.

Bernardo Silva is likely to complete City’s midfield trio. The Portuguese has also started the season strongly, scoring two goals and registering an assists in the last two games. Silva was linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, but he looks certain to stay put and will undoubtedly play a huge part for Guardiola’s side this season.

Gundogan and Alvarez could both be involved from the start against Forest


Erling Haaland has made an explosive start to life as a City player, scoring six times in his first four league games, but Guardiola could see this game as the perfect opportunity to give Julian Alvarez his first start. The Argentine scored on his debut in the Community Shield defeat to Liverpool, but has since made three substitute appearances without finding the back of the net.

Either side of him, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez are likely to start with Jack Grealish’s fitness still unknown. The ex-Aston Villa man is believed to be close to returning to action but Guardiola didn’t give too much away in his pre-match press conference.

Foden has a goal and two assists from City’s two home games so far, and will be looking to add to those tallies against Forest.

Mahrez, meanwhile, struggled against Palace last time out and hasn’t recorded a goal or assist this season, but will also fancy his chances of changing that if he is trusted from the start.

Predicted XI: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Gomez; Gundogan, Rodri, Silva; Foden, Alvarez, Mahrez

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