Guessing a Pep Cardiola starting line-up for Manchester City is hard at best, but it will still be a difficult task for West Ham.
Cardiola will not be drawn on whether Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte or Kevin de Bruyne will feature, as Laporte and De Bruyne returned to training on Thursday after missing games against Arsenal and Porto.
While Cardiola confirmed that Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy will definitely be out for the trip to London Stadium, he admitted that his city team did not decide to face West Ham when they spoke to the media on Friday afternoon.
It would be dangerous to turn them over if LaBorte and de Bruyne do not fully match, but they are two of the first names on the teamsheet if found.
Read how our writers think City should be deployed today and use the interactive widget below to choose your own team.
Due to their injury harassment in recent seasons, it is not dangerous to start with either Kevin de Bruyne or Aymeric Laporte in West Ham. No matter how troublesome the injury situation is, there is enough depth to play without them.
I retire to a ground dominated by City for Rodrigo and Sergio Aguero. Raheem Sterling could lead from the front, while Ferran Torres could wreak havoc after a live cameo against Porto.
Ilke Gundogan, the best at midweek, could return to Rodrigo’s position, with Bill Foden coming into midfield with the tireless Bernardo Silva.
Cardiola aired after Eric Garcia’s performance on Wednesday, but John Stones must be believed at one point; It might help to stick him next to Kyle Walker and wipe out Ruben Diaz.
Choose your own team below:
Four people should keep their seats here after City from Wednesday night, both Walker and Diaz are eligible for starts when they are in good form. On the left-back Cancello is the best of an incredible cluster, leaving only the other central defender. The Stones didn’t start from the opening game in the Wolves, but could make it into eight different center-back pairs in eight games.
Cardiola’s midfield options are very slim, and if he wants to continue with the dual center, only Rodrigo and Gundogan are the real options here. Bernardo could theoretically play a deeper role, but the defense of two more defenders in a form on the West Ham side will be valuable and the Portuguese will play further forward.
Aguero will definitely need a break after starting week two, so Sterling can lead the way. Foten and Torres made an impact off the bench at midweek and deserved a start at London Stadium.
Although Laborte and de Bruyne are back, I don’t think they should go back, their long-term fitness is so important here. Cardiola talked about John Stone in his pre-match comments so he could offer some new legs to replace Eric Garcia.
In midfield, injuries mean there has to be the same trio that played against Porto, and then I bring Bill Fotten and Ferran Torres into the wings. They were impressed with their cameos at midweek, so West Ham needed a chance on the big pitch.
Sergio Aguero is another to be managed, so it is wise to use him off the bench from the start.