Manchester City host Fulham in Saturday’s Premier League encounter and will hope to extend their 100 percent record in the Premier League this season.
The champions began the 2023/24 campaign by beating Burnley, Newcastle United and Sheffield United, which leaves City top of the table after three games. But the Blues found Fulham a particularly difficult side to deal with last season, and won both meetings by just a single goal.
The home encounter with Marco Silva’s side was a particularly tough affair for City, who required an injury-time Erling Haaland penalty to secure all three points. That spot-kick resulted in jubilant scenes from Pep Guardiola on the sidelines, yet the Catalan won’t be present at the Etihad on Saturday.
Guardiola is still recuperating in Barcelona having recently undergone surgery on a back problem, so it’s his assistant Juanma Lillo who will be in the dugout. The 57-year-old also oversaw the win at Bramall Lane last week, but with Guardiola set to return during the international break, this is Lillo’s final game in the hotseat.
He approaches the match with just one confirmed injury concerns in Kevin De Bruyne. Manuel Akanji missed the win over Sheffield United with a knock and Phil Foden also started on the bench, but both should be fine for Saturday and were seen in first-team training during the week. John Stones is expected to miss out, even though he was described as 'more or less there' by Lillo.
The interim boss is expected to name a similar team on Saturday to the one which played against the Blades, but even at this early stage of the season, City might make a few changes to keep things fresh. Here’s how we think they might line up against Fulham…