Predicted Line-Up: Pep Guardiola to start £157m City midfield against Barcelona

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Manchester City next face Crystal Palace in the Premier League this Saturday, as Pep Guardiola’s side return home to set things right following their draw with Newcastle United. Yet the City squad finds itself in Catalonia currently, as they prepare to take on Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Despite having already started the season, the two clubs have agreed to play each other in a benefit match, in order to raise money and awareness for ALS. Former Barcelona coach and goalkeeper Juan Carlos Unzue is currently living with the condition and is the inspiration for the event.

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 4-1 on Sunday, with Robert Lewandowski notching his first goals in Spanish football.

Previewing the friendly, the Manchester Evening News put out their predicted team to go against Barcelona. Only one of their senior players will start in defence according to their logic, John Stones, while Stefan Ortega should play in goal.

Kalvin Phillips should replace Rodri in the holding role but Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne are expected to play the first 45 minutes, while Cole Palmer and Jack Grealish are expected to flank Julian Alvarez, as Erling Halaand is rested.

Some will wonder about the wisdom of having a friendly during the season, which is a little confusing. While the match is for a good cause and should be honoured, only poor scheduling prevented it from taking place during the preseason.


Man City predicted team: Ortega; Lewis, Stones, Mbete, Gomez; Phillips, De Bruyne, Bernardo; Palmer, Alvarez, Grealish.


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