Defending champions Manchester City are set to host Fulham at the Etihad for the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Last month, Guardiola’s men had a decent run of results as they picked up victories over the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Ralph Hussnhutl’s Southampton, which trimmed down their lead to only nine points in the Premier League.
This month, the Cityzens will start off with a cup tie against the ongoing Championship leaders. A win against the Cottagers will see them advance to the next round of competition and hence we can expect City to again display their A-game at home, once again.
Before the game, Guardiola addressed the media with updates on his team including Mahrez’s return and was also heard sharing his thoughts on Fulham’s current boss Marco Silva. The City boss had words of praise for the Portuguese manager as he went on to say :
"I am very pleased Marco what he’s doing, I’m really impressed for a long time. I saw a few games in this period to see Fulham and I’m impressed the way they play. I’m not surprised they’re at the top of the Championship. It’s not just the goals they score, the way they play, the positional is exceptional. Everyone moves for his teammate. I’m happy for him, I know him a little well, a good relationship at Everton and WatfordSource : MEN"
Manchester City XI against Fulham-
City’s second-choice keeper Zack Steffen will return as the main shot-stopper between the sticks. Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are set to be slotted as the main centre-backs. The likes of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias are also in line to receive a spot in this defensive setup.
On the defensive flanks, Oleksandr Zinchenko will be accommodated in the left-back position whereas Kyle Walker will be placed in the right-back role.
In the midfield department, Fernandinho will walk in as the defensive midfielder. The Spaniard is likely to be provided support in the form of two central midfielders-Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva.
In the final third, Phil Foden will feature as the main striker and will have another opportunity to impress Guardiola with his attacking abilities. Gabriel Jesus will miss out due to injury and therefore will be replaced by Riyad Mahrez as the right-winger. Jack Grealish will find himself being slotted as the left-winger in this City attack.