Manchester City will return to domestic cup action on Tuesday evening when they take on Championship side Bristol City in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Pep Guardiola’s side returned to winning ways on Saturday with an emphatic 4-1 win against Bournemouth. That result kept them within touching distance of Premier League leaders Arsenal, but on Tuesday they will be fully focused on progressing in a competition they have not won since 2019.
In his pre-match press conference on Monday, Pep Guardiola offered some positive injury updates ahead of the trip to Bristol.
The manager confirmed that Kevin de Bruyne will be available and is feeling a lot better now that his illness is subsiding, while both Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are making progress. The latter was later photographed training as normal with the first-team squad.
Here’s how we think Pep will set up his City side.
Predicted starting XI
On Monday Guardiola confirmed that Stefan Ortega will take over from Ederson in goal, as he always does in cup games. The boss sang the praises of the reserve goalkeeper, so there’s no doubting he trusts the German entirely.
Rico Lewis could keep his starting spot from the win at Bournemouth, affording Kyle Walker another day off ahead of a tough fixture against Newcastle this coming Saturday.
Stones and Laporte both trained on Monday, but Guardiola won’t want to rush either back. Expect Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake to start in the centre of defence with Ruben Dias given a watching brief to start.
Sergio Gomez earned some rare minutes in the second half at Bournemouth, but he should start at left-back.
Guardiola spoke at length this week about how important Rodri is to his side, so he will be keen to give him a well-earned rest. Kalvin Phillips could get the nod in his place for what would be just his second start of the season.
Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne could return in attacking midfield after sitting out Saturday’s win, while Phil Foden and Cole Palmer could flank Julian Alvarez up top.
Predicted XI: Ortega, Lewis, Akanji, Ake, Gomez, Phillips, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Palmer, Alvarez, Foden