MX23RW : Sunday, September 22 09:34:02| >> :600:237971:237971:
Sep 21, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Man CityManchester City
Silva (1'), Aguero (7' pen.), Mahrez (12'), Silva (15', 49', 60'), Otamendi (18'), De Bruyne (85')
FT(HT: 5-0)

How Manchester City could line up against Watford

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester City could line up for their Premier League clash with Watford at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Manchester City will return to Premier League action on Saturday against Watford with an acute determination to put last weekend's 3-2 defeat to Norwich City behind them.

The surprise loss to Daniel Farke's side was City's first in the league since January and left them five points behind leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola's men have an ideal opportunity to bounce back in front of their own fans against a Watford side they trounced 6-0 in the FA Cup final four months ago.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how City could line up for the clash with the Hornets.

Possible MNC XI vs. WAT

Out: Aymeric Laporte (knee), Leroy Sane (knee), John Stones (muscle)
Doubtful: Phil Foden (illness)

> Click here to see Man City's full injury and suspension list ahead of the game.

At a time when City defenders appear to be dropping like flies with injury, Guardiola will be delighted to see the return of Benjamin Mendy, who came off the bench against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday to feature for the first time since suffering another knee injury in April.

The charismatic Frenchman has failed to manage a solid run of games over a prolonged period since joining the club in 2017 and will be raring to go in front of City's home support on Saturday.

In the middle, the unavailability of Stones and Laporte means that Guardiola has little choice but to select Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi, who started and finished the game in Ukraine on Wednesday, with the former putting in an impressive stint in an unfamiliar position.

In the right-back slot, you would expect Guardiola to rotate his options after a long trip and a comparatively quick turnaround of fixtures, which means that new signing Joao Cancelo - an impressive influence so far - comes in for primary option Kyle Walker after the Englishman started in Kharkiv.

Guardiola opted against starting Kevin De Bruyne against Norwich and it was a decision which somewhat backfired, with City's midfield losing patience on the ball and in turn allowing for the Canaries to break in dangerous positions.

In games like these, De Bruyne is commonly used in a slightly deeper midfield role in an attempt to maintain pressure from deep, with the Belgian's sharp feet and pinpoint passes forward setting the tone for how those further forward should play.

Rodri, who scored an excellent goal in the defeat last weekend, will keep his place following an impressive start to life in England.

A key trait for any title-winning team is the ability to break down teams playing a low block, reducing the space wherever possible, but this is a task City under Guardiola will be very familiar with and one for which they have the right players.

Indeed, in a congested area, the nimble technical brilliance of David Silva and Bernardo Silva so often provides the key to unlocking defences and opening the floodgates for later on in the game, with the former occupying a more central, stabilising role whilst the latter penetrates from out wide.

This combination is complemented nicely by Raheem Sterling, who already has five goals to his name this term and is expected to cause damage to the Hornets, who were on the receiving end of a hat-trick for the Englishman at Wembley in May.

Lastly, it is safe to assume that Sergio Aguero, rested for Gabriel Jesus during the week, will be restored to the starting XI for the kind of game in which a goal for the Argentine feels almost inevitable. The club's all-time record goalscorer already has seven to his name this term and many will be banking on him to add to that total against Quique Sanchez Flores's men.

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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Watford?

Manchester City
Manchester City
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Nicolas Otamendi in action for Manchester City on September 29, 2018
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How Man City could line up against Shakhtar

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