Manchester City Predictions, Players to Watch Before Final International Break | Bleacher Report
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The Sky Blues will have a relatively simple run ahead of a massive showdown with the Reds on November 10. Liverpool face much stiffer competition, but even if they maintain their 100 percent record, a head-to-head clash should provide City with an opportunity to make up ground.
Here is a look at the full schedule and score predictions:
October 19: Crystal Palace vs. City, Premier League (0-2)
October 26: City vs. Aston Villa, Premier League (3-0)
October 29: City vs. Southampton, Carabao Cup (4-0)
November 2: City vs. Southampton, Premier League (3-1)
November 6: Atalanta vs. City, Champions League (1-2)
November 10: Liverpool vs. Manchester City, Premier League (1-1)
Kevin De Bruyne
Belgian midfielder De Bruyne hasn’t played since the 3-1 win over Everton in late September, but despite his short absence, he still ranks among the Premier League’s top creators:
The 28-year-old is a key component of manager Pep Guardiola’s team, combining exceptional passing range and vision with good set-piece ability. His creativity is almost impossible to replace, and David Silva struggled in his role in the loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
It’s unclear when he’ll be ready to return, although Guardiola has previously said he should be fine after the current break. Given City’s relatively easy schedule, it would make sense not to risk De Bruyne too early and make sure he’s at his best by the time the Citizens face the Reds.
The biggest issue that has plagued the team so far has been injuries in defence, forcing midfielder Fernandinho to move out of his preferred role.
He’ll have to adjust quickly as the likes of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte work their way back to full health, though. Fortunately for the Citizens, the likes of Crystal Palace and Southampton rank in the bottom half of the Premier League’s in scoring, so the defence shouldn’t face too much pressure.
De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva have been the team’s top creative forces so far this season, but both should see plenty of rest in the coming weeks ahead of the showdown with Liverpool.
None of the domestic opponents before that clash are regarded as tough opposition, and Italian side Atalanta have suffered two defeats in two games in Europe. If City can take care of business at home in their first meeting, Guardiola may opt to rest all of his starters for the trip to Bergamo.
Liverpool’s Premier League schedule includes matches against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa before they host City. And unlike the Sky Blues, their European campaign has been far from perfect so far; they might not be able to rest their starters after winning and losing one game each.
Guardiola should do what he can to keep his top creators fresh for the massive meeting in November, and that means relying on some depth pieces. David Silva has six starts under his belt in the Premier League already and should play big minutes in the week leading up to the trip to Anfield.