Man City predicted XI to face Man Utd - Pep Guardiola expected to make these changes for derby

We’re backing the Manchester City manager to make two changes for the Premier League clash.

Pep Guardiola hasn’t had much time to prepare his Manchester City side for Sunday’s Manchester derby.

The vast majority of his players were on international duty over the break, with the final games played on Tuesday.

Factoring in travelling, Thursday will have been the first day Guardiola managed to get his full squad back together and begin preparations for the clash with Manchester United.

He confirmed in Friday’s press conference that John Stones is out of the derby after the defender picked up an injury in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday.

Meanwhile, Kalvin Phillips is also missing after undergoing surgery on a recurring shoulder injury over the break.

Kalvin Phillips has struggled with injuries since joining City. Credit: Getty.

But there’s better news regarding Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte, both of whom trained on Thursday and are back in contention.

But how will Guardiola line up for his 17th Manchester derby?

Sunday’s expected City team

Guardiola will have to factor in rotation over the coming six weeks with 12 matches in that period.

However, with a relatively kind home fixture in midweek against Copenhagen, he’s likely to name his strongest team for the clash with United.

Guardiola has had limited time on the training ground in the build-up to the derby. Credit: Getty.

That means Ederson will start in nets, barring any last-minute injury, with the goalkeeper an unused substitute in both of Brazil’s friendlies over the break.

Walker’s return should see him play at right-back, with Joao Cancelo likely to operate on the opposite flank.

Guardiola has three main options at centre-back, with the derby probably coming too soon for Laporte. Two of Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake are expected to start, with the latter the most likely option to be dropped.

In midfield, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne are always selected for the biggest games, and Ilkay Gundogan or Bernardo Silva are the obvious choices to take the third spot in the middle.

Silva could start in midfielder or out wide. Credit: Getty.

Silva has also played on the wing at times this season, with Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez perhaps more likely to start on the bench this Sunday after respective journeys outside of Europe during the international break.

Phil Foden is expected to be named in Sunday’s XI and could play on either wing, although Jack Grealish has started in the last three for City.

But up front, there’s only one one real option for Guardiola: Erling Haaland. The Norwegian has never played United before in his career and is set to take part in his first Manchester derby.

Manchester City predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Silva, Haaland, Foden.