Premier League

Josko Gvardiol and Jeremy Doku to return


Manchester City look to extend their lead at the top of the table as they take on Nottingham Forest at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The champions arrive in fine fashion, continuing their winning streak this season with a 3-1 victory in their opening UEFA Champions League game on Tuesday, defeating Red Star Belgrade.


While the “champions of Europe, you’ll never sing that” may have disappeared from the Forest repertoire, the away side still pose several threats to Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.

New summer signing Callum Hudson-Odoi announced his arrival in style, netting in Forest’s latest outing, a 1-1 draw with Burnley on Monday night, as Steve Cooper’s side continued their stellar start to the season.

Manchester City’s last league outing was another 3-1 victory, defeating West Ham at the London Stadium courtesy of strike’s from Jeremy Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland.

It may seem like a seamless week for the Blues, but boss Pep Guardiola isn’t so convinced, admitting his side are “in trouble” after Bernardo Silva picked up a knock in midweek.

Guardiola has since confirmed the Portuguese star will miss up to two weeks of action, ruling him out of Saturday’s clash. The Catalan also confirmed the status of other players during his pre-match press conference, including Jack Grealish and Mateo Kovacic.

“Jack Grealish could play some minutes” said Guardiola, who also confirmed that Mateo Kovacic is “coming back”, as the Croatian was spotted in training on Friday for the first time following an injury.

John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne remain ruled out of the clash, as well as Bernardo Silva following his injury sustained against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.

While the injury woes continued, Guardiola was keen to heap praise and shine some light on Julian Alvarez, who impressed once again with two goals in the Champions League.

This comes after Guardiola deemed Alvarez “almost undroppable” following his performance last weekend against West Ham, and with that being said, here is the side we predict will take on Nottingham Forest at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday!

Predicted XI

Ederson showcased some Brazilian flair on Wednesday with a flick past the onrushing attacker, just 30 yards out of his goal. He will almost certainly keep his place in goal on Saturday.

With the idea of Kyle Walker being rested where necessary discussed, we predict Rico Lewis to come into the side at the weekend.

Ruben Dias had another colossal performance in midweek, in what is a frightening norm nowadays, as such we expect the Portugal defender to start again, partnering Nathan Ake at the back.

Josko Gvardiol didn’t feature during the week, but we expect the Croatian to return to the fray, starting on the left of defence for the Sky Blues.

Rodrigo is expected to retain his place in midfield.

We expect Phil Foden to start again following his display against Red Star, partnering Matheus Nunes who should also keep his place in the side.

Julian Alvarez is in inspired form, emulating attacking returns the Etihad has grown used to from another Argentine over the years. We expect Alvarez to start on the right of the front three on Saturday.

Erling Haaland had chances go a-begging in midweek, which will not faze the forward, as we expect him to retain his place and his focus this weekend.

Jeremy Doku has been electric since arriving from Rennes, we expect the Belgian to start in the absence of Jack Grealish, completing the side for Saturday’s affair.

Predicted XI: Ederson; Lewis, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodrigo, Nunes, Alvarez; Foden, Haaland, Doku.

Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Walker, Akanji, Gomez, Phillips, Bobb, Grealish, Kovacic.


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