Manchester City predicted lineup analysis: Unstoppable Haaland to score his tenth goal of 2024?

After a bit of a sticky end to 2023, Manchester City are slowly climbing through the gears in 2024. Pep Guardiola’s side have only dropped points once this year, winning their other 11 games. City continue their defence of the Champions League on Wednesday night against Copenhagen, having already bested them 3-1 away. Barring a comeback that would rank among the Champions League's best ever, expect City to cruise through in this one.

Manchester City predicted lineup analysis

We predict that City will continue in their usual fluid 3-2-4-1 shape.

Goalkeeper and defenders:

Ederson

Now we’re into the business end of the season, Stefan Ortega’s opportunities to start are becoming much more limited. Though City will feel 99% confident of going through here, we still expect arguably the world’s best footballing goalkeeper, Ederson, to continue between the sticks.

Ederson and Kyle Walker are Champions League veterans – Photo by Icon sport

Kyle Walker

Despite Marcus Rashford scoring an absolute thunderbolt of a strike on Sunday, the United forward could’ve had more if it weren’t for Kyle Walker. The 33-year-old is essentially a one-man transition killer, his awesome speed allows him to keep up with Europe’s most mercurial talents.

Ruben Dias

Ruben Dias has been near everpresent in City’s successes since he joined from Benfica in 2020. He was a key man in last season’s Champions League win, and it would be a shock if he didn’t start here. City are at 8/11 to keep a clean sheet here, and Dias may well be the one to lead them to it.

Nathan Aké

A relatively unheralded 2021 signing from Bournemouth, Nathan Aké has become a key component of the City defence. He is excellent at defending one-on-ones, and is composed in possession. With Josko Gvardiol out, the Dutchman is certain to start.

Midfielders:

John Stones is key to our Manchester City predicted lineup analysis
John Stones is key to City's system – Photo by Icon Sport

John Stones

A key reason for City’s return to form has been John Stones’ fitness. The Englishman struggled early in the campaign, but is now back doing the role he does best: the glue between City’s midfield and defence. Stones is a centre-back out-of-possession, but when City have the ball, he joins Rodri in midfield.

Rodri

No City lineup is complete without Rodri. He has only lost one match in the last year for Manchester City, the Community Shield on penalties to Arsenal. The midfielder is indispensable for City, and they always look lost without him.

Kevin de Bruyne

‘Like a new signing’ is often a very hackneyed cliché, but in the case of Kevin de Bruyne, it is absolutely true. The Belgian has scored two and assisted ten since his return from injury at the start of the year, despite the City medical team carefully managing his minutes as he returns to full fitness. He netted the opener in the away leg, and is at 17/2 to do the same here.

Matheus Nunes has not had the desired impact at the Etihad Stadium – Photo by Icon sport

Matheus Nunes

Normally, Bernardo Silva is a shoo-in in a City Champions League lineup, but with a healthy lead and playing at home, Guardiola may look to rotate a little. Matheus Nunes could be a beneficiary, and despite Pep Guardiola once describing the 25-year-old as “one of the best players in the world”, he could do with a strong performance to resuscitate his faltering City career.

Attackers:

Phil Foden

23-year-old Phil Foden has stepped up another level this season, winning games on his own, as he recently did with a fantastic brace in the Manchester derby. He has 18 goals and 10 assists in all competitions already, and has been one of Europe’s best players.

Erling Haaland is always among the goals – Photo by Icon Sport

Erling Haaland

A big part of City’s 2024 resurgence has been Erling Haaland’s return to full fitness. The big Norwegian has scored nine goals in the last month. 

Haaland failed to score against Copenhagen away, but he rarely draws two blanks against the same side. He is at 23/10 to score two or more goals.

Jérémy Doku is a tricky and unpredictable winger – Photo by Icon Sport

Jeremy Doku

After an characteristically blistering fast start to his City career, Jeremy Doku has slowed down a little, with only one goal and no assists in his last 17 appearances.

Doku is still only 21, so a little inconsistency is to be expected. He also still offers City a superb outlet down the wing in a way that few others can, and causes chaos with his mesmerising one-on-one dribbling ability.


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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.