Predicting Man City’s starting XI for their first game of the 2019/20 PL season

Treble winners

Under Pep Guardiola, Manchester City have become one of the most dominant forces in English football.

In Pep’s second season in Manchester, the Citizens amassed a record-breaking 100 points in the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

This past season, City would achieve a similarly impressive feat, earning 98 points in 38 league outings.

Man City also set another record in the 2018/19 season, as they became the first ever male English side to complete the domestic treble.

City did also earn the Community Shield, but not too many people really class that as a top trophy.

 

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Despite having such an impressive season, though, Man City are still being linked with new additions in this window.

This article will delve into how those possible additions could fit into Manchester City’s starting eleven for their first game of the forthcoming PL season.

Pep Guardiola’s side will kick off their 2019/20 campaign away to West Ham United on August 10th.

 

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Ederson remains number one

Starting at the back, Man City are likely to retain Ederson as their number one keeper for the upcoming season.

Guardiola does prefer to have a keeper that is good with his feet and, after getting rid of Joe Hart and trying but failing with Claudio Bravo, Pep seems to have finally found his man in Ederson.

Ederson would keep the second most clean sheets in the Premier League last season, letting in just 23 goals.

Only Liverpool’s Alisson managed to keep a tighter defence, conceding 22 times in the PL.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 04: Ederson Moraes of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton FC at Etihad Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Defensive changes

Moving to the backline, Kyle Walker was City’s first-choice right-back throughout 2018/19.

The Englishman did have a largely positive season, but he did struggle somewhat in a handful of games.

Despite this, Walker has recently been rewarded with a new contract from the Sky Blues.

However, it does look as though Guardiola wants to bring in some fresh competition for Walker.

Reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano recently reported that Juventus’ Joao Cancelo is Pep’s main target for right-back this summer.

In recent days, though, there have been reports that City’s deal for Cancelo has stalled.

But there is still a long way to go in the window and with City’s firepower, they will probably land their man.

Joao Cancelo

STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA, MILAN, ITALY – 2019/04/27: Joao Cancelo of Juventus FC in action during the Serie A football match between FC Internazionale and Juventus FC. The match ended in a 1-1 tie. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kompany replacement

At the end of the 2018/19 season, Vincent Kompany announced that he would be departing Manchester City after 11 years at the club.

The Belgian has been a top quality player both on and off the pitch for City.

With both Aymeric Laporte and John Stones fairly young, Guardiola may have been hoping that that duo could help to replace Kompany.

However, the ex-Barcelona manager may be having second thoughts after watching Stones’ shaky recent displays for England.

As a result, City could well bring in Leicester’s Harry Maguire to partner Laporte at the back.

Maguire has been linked with both Manchester clubs, but a recent report has claimed that United have pulled out of the race.

Man City’s left- back spot is then likely to be filled by Benjamin Mendy.

The Frenchman has had a torrid time with injuries since his move to the Etihad.

In his two-year stint with City, Mendy has featured just 23 times for their senior side.

However, a recent report from the Evening Standard claimed that Guardiola is confident that Mendy is finally over his injury troubles.

Mendy had a solid start to last season, assisting four in four league clashes, and City will be hopeful that he can recapture that form in the coming months.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 19: Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A new holding midfielder

Man City fans could also expect to see a change in their side’s midfield setup.

Fernandinho has excelled in the holding midfielder role under Guardiola.

But the Brazilian is now 33 years of age, and coming to the end of his career.

The Sky Blues seem to be well aware of this, as they look to be close to signing Atletico Madrid midfielder, Rodri.

While the deal hasn’t been officially announced, Atletico do appear to have already replaced the Spaniard with Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente.

Llorente was presented by Atletico with the number 14 shirt, worn by Rodri last season:

TURIN, ITALY – MARCH 12: Rodri of Atletico Madrid in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Juventus and Club de Atletico Madrid at Allianz Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Turin, . (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

No room for Sane

Elsewhere in City’s midfield, do not expect too many changes.

Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva both had exceptional 2018/19 seasons, and will very likely play a prominent role in the forthcoming campaign.

While Kevin De Bruyne did not feature too much, largely because of injury, he too will certainly be a key player for City as they look to earn a third successive league title.

This would leave one spot open to be filled by either David Silva, Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez or Phil Foden.

Given the fact that Silva has recently announced his intention to leave City in 2020, Guardiola could well want to get as much as possible out of him before he departs.

Although Sane would seem like the smart choice to play instead of David Silva, the German is being linked with a move to Bayern Munich.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Leroy Sane of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Fulham FC at Etihad Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Aguero stays up top

The final spot in City’s starting eleven will be filled either by Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus.

Jesus has played second fiddle to Aguero since his arrival in England.

The Brazilian has opted to wear the number nine shirt for next season.

Despite Jesus taking the traditional centre-forward’s number, though, Aguero is still likely to remain City’s main striker next season.

The Argentine has been a consistent goal-scoring threat for the Citizens since his arrival from Atletico Madrid.

In 338 games, Aguero has scored 231 and assisted 69 for City.

Man City’s predicted XI

Related: Maguire to Man City would be like van Dijk to Liverpool – Iborra

Man City want to sign Real Madrid’s Isco as David Silva’s successor – Marca

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