Manchester City return to action this weekend and right after the international break, they are scheduled to take on Liverpool in an all-important Premier League home game.
City are top of the EPL table with just one point ahead of opponents Liverpool, meaning if they can’t beat Liverpool on Saturday, Guardiola’s side could slip down from the top spot.
Man City are undefeated in their previous six matches however, their last match before the break was a 4-4 draw against Chelsea.
The Blues have shown that City’s defence is breachable and with the kind of firepower Liverpool have, Guardiola will have to make sure his team’s back line does not falter on Saturday.
The last time these two sides met, MCFC came out as 4-1 winners but in recent seasons, these two have been the giants of English football so they have a pretty even record.
Coming to this weekend, City are the slight favourites but that’s only on paper and it won’t be a surprise if the spoils are shared.
Erling Haaland picked up an ankle injury during Norway’s game against the Faroe Islands but the striker should be fit in time to face Liverpool which is a massive boost for Pep Guardiola.
The forward was rested for Sunday’s game against Scotland so he will have had time to make a full recovery.
However, this is the only bit of positive news for the Man City manager because Mateo Kovacic and John Stones are both expected to miss out this weekend.
With Kovacic ruled out and Pep not trusting Nunes and Phillips, Manuel Akanji might once again have to play in central midfield alongside Rodri.
Ederson missed the international break for Brazil due to the foot injury he picked up during the Chelsea game and the Man City keeper is a doubt for the Liverpool match as well. If he is not available then Scott Carson will have to be in goal which is a bit of an issue for Guardiola.
Zack Steffen is the other keeper but he too is out until December with an injury.
In recent games, Guardiola seems to be preferring Jeremy Doku ahead of Jack Grealish and we think the Man City manager is going to use the summer signing against Liverpool as well. Doku’s pace could be instrumental in tormenting Alexander Arnold.
Pep Guardiola won’t have a problem naming a strong starting XI but with players like Kovacic, De Bruyne, Stones and Ake ruled out, the manager will have a vastly reduced bench strength.
Man City predicted line up vs Liverpool:
Predicted Starting line up(3-2-4-1): Ederson; Gvardiol, Walker, Ruben Dias; Rodri, Akanji; Foden, Doku, Alvarez, Bernardo Silva; Haaland.