The Blues have already qualified and will face the weakest team in the group needing just one point to guarantee first place (if Shakhtar Donetsk don’t win at Napoli), so it’s entirely understandable that Pep Guardiola is looking to make a lot of changes to his side tomorrow. Manchester City will have an incredibly busy schedule from now until the end of the year, and the rotations have to start now with a perfect opportunity to do so.
Every position and player will probably be rotated, which includes the goalkeeper. Claudio Bravo played just twice this season, but was fantastic in both and has proved that he deserves more minutes. The Bravo of last season is gone, and it’s not a bad idea to give Ederson a rest and let Claudio taste Champions League football again.
In front of Bravo, Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph will probably get a rest as well, with Danilo Luiz, Nicolas Otamendi and possibly Oleksandr Zinchenko playing with Eliaquim Mangala in the back four. Zinchenko is the biggest doubt here, but Pep might give him another shot at left-back if Delph isn’t 100% fit to play.
In midfield, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva will surely get a rest, with Ilkay Gundogan and Yaya Touré coming in. The third midfielder could be a surprise, and a very good one: Phil Foden is in contention to start after Pep talked about him specifically in his press conference, and the 17-year-old certainly has the talent and confidence to make his debut as a starter in a Champions League game and do very well.
The attacking trio will have Sergio Agüero up front, that’s for sure. Agüero didn’t play a minute against Leicester on Saturday and Pep was certainly thinking about starting Sergio in this one. To the right of Agüero will be Bernardo Silva, though the Portuguese could be in midfield if Pep decides to use Foden in the second half. On the left, Leroy Sané sounds like the perfect choise, but Guardiola also mentioned Brahim Díaz in his presser and there’s a good chance that the young Academy star also gets a chance to play from the start.
It’s very hard to figure out Pep’s team, but we will se rotations and a few big names on the bench.
Predicted XI: Bravo; Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Touré, Foden; Bernardo, Agüero, Sané
Bitter and Blue XI (as chosen by you!):
Bravo; Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Touré, Foden; Bernardo, Agüero, Sterling
The Dutch champions come into this one eliminated from the knockout rounds and needing a miracle to qualify for the Europa League. They’re also in terrible form, winning just 2 of their last 11 matches, and Feyenoord have some key injuries to their defense and a coach in Giovanni Van Bronckhorst under a lot of pressure.
Feyenoord will face the Blues with not a lot of confidence, and they’ll probably defend for most of the time. Van Bronckhorst has so many injuries he can’t even afford to rotate what already is a very thin squad, so Feyenoord will probably come to City looking to defend and not lose by much, and who knows if they’ll get something on a counter or set piece.
Predicted XI: Jones; Nieuwkoop, Tapia, St. Juste, Haps; Amrabat, Vilhena, Toornstra; Berghuis, Jørgensen, Boëtius
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Mangala, Danilo; Gundogan, Touré, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Agüero, Sterling
Feyenoord: Jones; Diks, Tapia, van Beek, Haps; Amrabat, Toornstra, Vilhena; Berghuis, Boëtius, Larsson