After their thrilling victory over Monaco the Manchester City team took a well earned mini training vacation in Abu Dhabi. Back in England again, the Citizens have an FA Cup replay to deal with against Huddersfield. This time at home City will look to make quick work of the Championship team and advance to the quarterfinals.
Considering the time off City have had and the opportunity to really make a run at the FA Cup, Pep Guardiola should be considering naming his strongest eleven in this one. Who those players are exactly remains to be seen, however supporters certainly have an idea of who gives City the best chance to win night in and night out.
Below are the eleven players I believe Guardiola will name in his starting lineup. Sticking with the 4-3-3 should be a no-brainer.
Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo
With Willy Caballero emerging as the preferred choice in goal, Bravo needs some game time and this replay should give him that. Claudio had a nice game the first time against Huddersfield and kept a clean sheet.
Defense: Bacary Sagna, John Stones, Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernandinho
Defense is probably the hardest spot on the pitch to predict for City at the moment. Will Pep go with an unorthodox full-back? After Fernandinho’s poor performance against Monaco perhaps he deserves the bench, but Huddersfield are not Monaco and there are certainly attributes of Fernandinho’s game Pep loves out of his left-back. In the middle captain Vincent Kompany remains sidelined, so Stones and Kolarov seem the likely starters.
Midfield: Yaya Touré, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne
With Fernandinho possibly occupying a spot at the back, Pep should be free to use Touré, Silva and De Bruyne in midfield, a combination that has produced magnificent games since paired together.
Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané
Without Gabriel Jesus, the obvious starters are Agüero, Sané and Sterling. If Pep wanted to rotate the next players in line would be Iheanacho, Nolito and Navas. After that City don’t really have another option in the attack other than moving midfielders forward. Considering the extended rest and importance of this game, Pep should go with his big guns.
So that's our predicted lineup! As for a score prediction, City should be looking at the FA Cup as the first chance of silverware during the Guardiola era. A 3-0 result should be more than just possible with the players above.