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How Man City should set up against Sheffield United in the Premier League.

How Man City should set up against Sheffield United in the Premier League.

On Sunday, Pep Guardiola will not be in the starting lineup for Manchester City because of back surgery as they travel to Bramall Lane to face newly promoted Sheffield United.

With Sheffield United being promoted to the Premier League, Manchester City will play the first of two games without manager Pep Guardiola on the sidelines.

Sheffield United has lost both of their games since returning to the top division, while City has won two of their first two as they start their most recent title defense. After missing two games (including the Super Cup) due to illness, Bernardo Silva should be available for the Blues.

However, John Stones will be sidelined along with Kevin De Bruyne until after the international break in September. The wing position will be open thanks to recent acquisition Jeremy Doku, whose £55 point 5 million transfer from Rennes was finalized on Thursday.

While Josko Gvardiol will be fighting to keep his position at left-back, Phil Foden made an impact in the attacking midfield position against Newcastle last weekend and may have the chance to play there again.

Simon Bajkowski 

Although it might be tempting to give Jeremy Doku his first City start, Guardiola does not need to be present to understand that this is not a player to be taken lightly. After missing the previous two games, Bernardo Silva has trained normally this week and should replace Jack Grealish to assist Erling Haaland.

However, Julian Alvarez’s goal record away from home is much worse than it is at the Etihad, despite the fact that he has impressed so far this season. Alvarez, like Doku, is prepared to come off the bench as an explosive option, but Phil Foden and Mateo Kovacic may be better suited to provide Haaland with the service and support that player needs.

Another rookie at City, Josko Gvardiol feels the home game against Fulham would be a better fit for him to make his debut as he adjusts to his new team’s demands. When Nathan Ake recovers from his injury, the other three defenders can choose who they want to play.

Paul Bray.

The temptation would be to immediately bring Bernardo Silva back and introduce Jeremy Doku. However, City were successful against Newcastle because of the Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez tactic of playing the two in a dual number ten role. This strategy merits a second chance against a Sheffield United team that will probably put 11 players behind the ball.

Knowing that the Blades won’t have many opportunities to counter-attack against his former team, Kyle Walker can provide the width, allowing Foden to move inside from the right wing to operate in the spaces next to Alvarez.

Man City’s starting lineup has been selected by Joe.

Although Nathan Ake was a substitute against Newcastle and is available to play on the left, Josko Gvardiol would be a good choice to start this game. If necessary, Gvardiol, Bernardo, and perhaps Doku, who is set to make his debut, can all come off the bench.

Johnson, Isaac.

When he played Newcastle last time, Guardiola didn’t make any substitutions, possibly aware that he would soon have a rare full week of rest. Fans will be eager to see Jeremy Doku make his debut, and he most likely will—just not right away.

It’s challenging to argue that any player should have been left on the field during the victory over the Magpies, and historically, Guardiola has kept his best players. It’s challenging to return to the side once you’ve left it, regardless of whether you were injured or ill, unless your name is Kevin De Bruyne.

The starting lineup for Isaac against Sheffield United.

Isaac’s starting lineup against Sheffield United.

However, with the Belgian out for some time, Foden can show onlookers that he has what it takes to be the star of the show for more than just one night by partnering with Alvarez, the match-winner for Newcastle, behind Haaland in the same starting lineup.

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