Man City predicted XI to face Southampton - Pep Guardiola expected to recall five players

Nine of Manchester City’s team for Saturday seems to pick itself, with two question marks in defence and up front.

Pep Guardiola is expected to recall several players for Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Southampton on Saturday.

The Blues managed to rest a number of stars in midweek for the visit of Copenhagen, with Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden all unused substitutes against the Danish side.

Rodri also wasn’t called upon with the midfielder suffering from a recent calf issue, although he is expected to be fit for the visit of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

Elsewhere, the comfortable scoreline in midweek allowed Guardiola to replace three players early on, with Erling Haaland withdrawn at half-time and Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva taken off in the second half.

All of the aforementioned players are likely to start this weekend as City continue to rotate their squad in the midst of a busy fixture schedule.

Pep Guardiola continues to rotate his team in the middle of a busy fixture schedule. Credit: Getty.

But how will the Premier League champions line up for the clash with Southampton?

Man City’s predicted team

Ederson will be disappointed with last week’s showing against United when City conceded two late, sloppy goals, and he’ll be aiming for a clean sheet against the Saints.

Cancelo, Akanji and Ake look likely to start in defence, but the fourth member of the backline looks less certain.

Aymeric Laporte is not expected to feature after he played his first 90 minutes of the season on Wednesday, as he continues his recovery after undergoing surgery in the summer.

Nathan Ake could play at the heart of defence or at left-back this weekend. Credit: Getty.

Sergio Gomez is an option at left-back, although Guardiola may opt to push Ake into the wide areas and start with Akanji and Dias at centre-back. Kyle Walker and John Stones remain absent through injury.

In midfield, De Bruyne and Rodri are expected to be named in the starting XI, with Silva the most likely to accompany them after he came off early against Copenhagen. Assuming Guardiola starts with that trio, Ilkay Gundogan should drop to the bench. Kalvin Phillips is still missing due to a shoulder injury.

The City boss kept Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez on for 90 minutes in Wednesday’s Champions League win, and one of those are expected to start when Southampton make the long journey to the Etihad.

Grealish has performed well in City’s last three matches. Credit: Getty.

Grealish has played more often of late and could be rested, although Guardiola appears keen to give the winger minutes as he enjoys an impressive run of form.

Meanwhile, the City manager recently said Mahrez ‘has to come back in better physical condition’, hinting he’s less than pleased with the Algerian’s recent performances.

Julian Alvarez is another option to play out wide, with Haaland and Foden almost certain to take two of the three attacking spots in the team.

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