Manchester City can climb to the top of the Premier League table with a win over West Brom on Tuesday night.
Pep Guardiola’s side have had a slow start to the season, but have found their rhythm in recent weeks and their constant streak of form has helped them capitalize on the shortcomings of their competitors to return to the title race.
Despite the absence of a striker for the most part, City are scoring plenty of goals and creating chances galore, but have also only conceded twice so far in 2021. Although getting to the top of the table cannot be only temporary if Manchester United won their game in the middle of the week. , it would be a three essential points to maintain the pressure on their neighbors.
West Brom, however, drew against City in December and have done the same against Liverpool since under Sam Allardyce. Here’s how citizens might align with the Hawthorns.
Ederson (GK) – The Brazilian dropped out of the FA Cup this weekend but will return to the XI for league duties.
Kyle Walker (RB) – Walker suffered an injury in City’s win over Aston Villa which cast doubt on his availability, but he has returned to training and will likely start accordingly.
John Stones (CB) – Has there been a comeback story bigger than Stones this season? The 26-year-old is looking back at his best and must play in Gareth Southgate’s mind again.
Ruben Dias (CB) – Dias is the man responsible for Stones’ resurgence. One of the best window signings last summer, he continues to reduce Aymeric Laporte to the role of bench driver with his incredible authoritative displays.
Joao Cancelo (LB) – Cancelo has also massively increased his performance levels this season. Able to play competently on both flanks, his attacking prowess is essential for City in possession.
Rodri (DM) – At his best, Rodri is a complete midfielder. Aggressive, intelligent and an eye for a killer bullet. He will still have to step up production in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne.
Bernardo Silva (CM) – With De Bruyne out, Silva is likely to fall back into what City fans consider his best position. It’s a huge chance for the Portugal international to show again what he’s really capable of.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – Gundogan is enjoying a nice ending form and is one of the first names on the team sheet. Seven goals in all competitions is an impressive comeback so far this season.
Raheem Sterling (RW) – Sterling was an unused substitute in the weekend’s FA Cup victory over Cheltenham, but will return to the XI for an important clash. It’s not his best season so far, but he’s more than capable of making a difference.
Gabriel Jesus (ST) – With Sergio Aguero now out after testing positive for COVID-19, Jesus returns as a center forward. A goal against Cheltenham is exactly what he needed to finally shoot.
Phil Foden (LW) – 14 goal contributions from 18 starts this season, Foden is reaching new heights and thriving when given the reins. The Englishman is immensely talented and could be the key to finding three points.