- Jamie Tomkys
Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Nottingham Forest vs Manchester City Preview
Manchester City will look to continue their title charge with a trip to The City Ground to face Nottingham Forest. The game will take place on Saturday, 18th February at 3 pm (GMT) and will not be shown live on TV in the United Kingdom.
City come into this game on the back of their superb 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night. Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland earned City a crucial three points against their title rivals.
Pep Guardiola may choose to use this fixture to give minutes to players who are not at their sharpest with a crucial Champions League last 16 tie away to the in-form RB Leipzig on Wednesday night.
The Catalan shared promising news regarding the recovery of John Stones in his press conference on Friday, although he is not yet ready to return to the side.
Ederson will likely start in goal despite further question marks being raised over his performance after giving away a penalty in midweek (albeit a dubious one).
The City boss will also need to decide if he wants to continue experimenting with Bernardo Silva as an inverted left-back. This game may be a good opportunity for the Portuguese international to learn the position further.
If he opts for Bernardo at left-back, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte likely start alongside him. Manuel Akanji could start to give Dias rest before the Champions League game on Wednesday night.
Kalvin Phillips did get minutes at the end of the game against Arsenal, but Rodri will likely continue in midfield. He could be partnered with Ilkay Gundogan leaving Julian Alvarez playing in an advanced role behind Erling Haaland.
Riyad Mahrez was withdrawn early against Arsenal, so will likely start with Phil Foden potentially starting his first game since the defeat at Old Trafford over a month ago.
Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Bernardo, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Alvarez, Haaland, Foden
Forest come into the game having not lost at home since 16th September. They have beaten Liverpool and drawn with Chelsea at The City Ground this season.
The relegation candidates are currently sitting in 14th place, six points above the drop zone and will certainly not roll over when Guardiola’s men come to town.
Steve Cooper’s side lost both centre-backs to injury within seconds of each other during their clash with Fulham last weekend.
Willy Boly and Scott McKenna will both miss this weekend’s clash with hamstring injuries. Jesse Lingard’s fitness will need to be assessed prior to kick-off on Saturday.
City will need to be mindful of the attacking threat from Brennan Johnson and Taiwo Awoniyi. The pair have scored nine of Forest’s 17 goals in the Premier League this season.
City have only faced Forrest once in the last 13 years, the reverse fixture at the end of August. City won 6-0 that night, courtesy of a first-half hat-trick from Erling Haaland, a second-half brace from Julian Alvarez and a screamer from the now-departed Joao Cancelo.
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistants: Matthew Wilkes & Derek Eaton
4th Official: Josh Smith
VAR: Peter Banks
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
Written by: @JTomkys
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