Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has several options to choose from ahead of Tuesday evening’s FA Cup fifth round clash with Peterborough United.
The Catalan has confirmed that Zack Steffen is the only member of his squad who won’t be in contention to start, leading to a dilemma as to who will start between the sticks.
“No. Some knocks, but today everyone trained,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference on Monday.
“Zack Steffen – Not yet [will he be back]. He is still in the gym.
City come into the fixture off the back of a 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday, which saw John Stones replace Kyle Walker at right-back, leading to the latter dropping to the bench.
Phil Foden was on the scoresheet for the Sky Blues against the Toffees, his third goal in his last five games.
Here is a look at how City could line-up against Norwich at Goodison Park.
Who plays between the sticks will be the biggest dilemma for Guardiola. With back-up goalkeeper Steffen ruled out and Ederson likely to sit out the match due to the Manchester derby on Sunday, we could see the Sky Blues boss opt for Scott Carson or Cieran Slicker in net.
One area of rotation expected for the clash is the defence. Guardiola’s favoured centre-back pairing of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte have started in their last three fixtures, but one if not both of them are likely to be rested ahead of Sunday, thus leading to Nathan Ake and Stones being into contention.
At right-back, City have several options to choose from with Stones, Walker and Joao Cancelo all options.
Guardiola has already confirmed Oleks Zinchenko will start against the Posh at left-back.
Guardiola will likely continue to line-up in a 4-3-3 formation having used it regularly during his tenure in charge of the club, though their fluidity could allow for a 4-2-2-2 on Saturday.
The Catalan has plenty of players to utilise in centre-midfield, including Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, James McAtee and Phil Foden.
Academy star Romeo Lavia could also be in line for a start, he has been spotted several times training with the first team this season.
The use of a false-9 has been implemented significantly by Guardiola this campaign with Grealish, Foden, Sterling and Silva all playing in the role.
However, with the return of Jesus to the starting XI a possibility, we could see the Brazilian start as a traditional number nine.
The wide positions are also up for debate, especially after Riyad Mahrez and Sterling’ recent form. The latter started his fifth consecutive game for the Sky Blues on Saturday.
Predicted XI: Carson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, McAtee, Palmer, Jesus, Grealish.