Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola can perhaps afford to experiment a little with his side as they continue to dominate in this season’s Premier League.
City have the chance to further their lead at the top of the table this afternoon as they make the long trip down to Southampton, with both Liverpool and Chelsea playing on Sunday.
Having beaten Thomas Tuchel’s side last weekend, sticking with the same XI would appear to be the obvious choice — although second-guessing Guardiola is never easy.
Nevertheless, here is the City starting XI that Manchester Evening News readers have picked for this afternoon’s game.
Goalkeeper – Ederson
No question. Unless he suffers a late injury in the warm-up, Ederson will be the first name on the team sheet for Guardiola.
Defenders – Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo
Having made the surprise decision to omit Ruben Dias from his line-up against Chelsea, all eyes will be on who Guardiola picks at the back this afternoon.
John Stones certainly didn’t put a foot wrong in replacing the Portuguese defender, but it doesn’t come as too big a surprise to see Dias returning to the side for this afternoon’s game.
Aymeric Laporte gets the nod from fans alongside him, meaning Stones will have to settle for a place on the bench.
Elsewhere, Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo are picked on either side of the defence.
Midfielders – Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva
It’s a midfield three that practically picks itself at this stage.
Rodri has excelled in his role shielding the back four this season, and he of course retains his place for this afternoon’s game.
After his superb winner against Chelsea, Kevin De Bruyne partners Bernardo Silva just ahead of the Spaniard, with Ilkay Gundogan once again missing out on a place in the side.
Forwards – Raheem Stelring, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish
It’s in the front line where the big calls have to be made by Guardiola, with the City boss regularly rotating his forward options.
Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden have near enough established themselves as first-choice picks, certainly among the fans, leaving Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish to fight it out over the last remaining spot.
And on this occasion, it’s Grealish who gets the nod from the supporters, after starting the win over Chelsea.
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