Man City predicted line-ups v Everton gallery - Five changes planned with Erling Haaland warning
A number of key Manchester City players could be rested ahead of the return leg against Real Madrid.
Pep Guardiola insisted that next week’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid will not come into his thinking when selecting Manchester City’s starting line-up to face Everton in the Premier League this weekend
“My thought is just Everton, no more than that,” the Catalan said in Friday’s pre-match press conference. “Eleven months working for the Premier League, I don’t want to be distracted for Madrid because I won’t have time. It’s a real priority the game at Goodison Park.”
However, Guardiola did say something similar last week ahead of the encounter against Leeds United, and then named Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish on the bench.
The City boss is also disappointed with the scheduling of the Everton game at Goodison Park and admitted he would have preferred to have played on Saturday and had an extra day to prepare for Real. “We can’t play Saturday because Eurovision or something like that in Liverpool, and we don’t have too much police to handle two important events at the same time,” Guardiola explained.
“Ok, we have to adapt. What can I do? We’d prefer to play Saturday so we can prepare more, definitely.”
One player who could be rested on Sunday is Erling Haaland, but Guardiola warned the Premier League that the record-breaking Norwegian has just now reached his peak fitness levels. “It’s the end of the season, everyone comes from here,” he said. “In the training session, see how he is, the body language. He makes a really intense game in Madrid, couldn’t have done if he was tired.”
Nathan Ake is City’s only fitness doubt ahead of the game, meaning Guardiola has an almost fully-fit squad to select from. Here’s how we think he’ll line up for Sunday’s match against Everton…