De Bruyne and Stones to return – Predicted Man City line up vs West Ham United
Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones could return to the starting XI when Manchester City take on West Ham United.
Despite only playing late on Wednesday night in Budapest, City will be straight back into the action in Saturday’s early kickoff.
The Blues extended their remarkable winning streak to 19 games in Hungary with a comfortable 2-0 win against Borussia Monchengladbach in the first leg of their Champions League Last-16 tie, and could stretch lead at the top of the Premier League to 13 points with a win on Saturday as second place Manchester United don’t play until Sunday afternoon against Chelsea.
However, a match against West Ham isn’t quite the proposition it has been in years gone by, as the high-flying Hammers are enjoying a brilliant campaign and currently sit in fourth place.
As a result, it’s difficult to see Pep Guardiola making too many changes to his starting XI despite the quick turn around.
There may again come a couple of alterations at the back, with Guardiola brining John Stones and Aleks Zinchenko back into the fold after they were rested in mid-week to make his first choice defence. That would see Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte drop out with Joao Cancelo switching back to the right flank.
In midfield, the crucial pair of Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan will likely retain their spots and they could be joined by Kevin De Bruyne to reunite the trio that performed so well before the Belgian’s injury.
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De Bruyne sat out the win on Wednesday but Guardiola has confirmed he is fully fit so he will no doubt be raring to play.
Gabriel Jesus managed to grab a goal against Gladbach which may be enough for him to keep his place despite the return of Sergio Aguero, while Raheem Sterling is a certainty to start.
The final spot could go to the in-form Riyad Mahrez in place of Bernardo Silva, who is due a rest after playing the full 90 minutes in City’s last seven league and European games.
Predicted Man City XI vs West Ham: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.