Victory at Molineux did lift City back to the top of the Premier League table for just under 24 hours, quickly being replaced by Arsenal, who defeated Brentford 3-0 on Sunday. Nevertheless, City is in a strong position to resume its title charge when the campaign recommences in just over a week’s time.
The city is currently nursing a handful of injury problems, with Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, and Kalvin Phillips all missing the win over the Wolves. However, the current pause will allow the Blues the chance to try and recover Walker and Laporte, but Phillips faces a long spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
With that in mind, MEN Sport has taken a close look at how City could line up following the international break if Phillips is their one and only injury concern.
Goalkeeper – Ederson
This position picks itself. The Brazilian has started each of City’s opening seven league fixtures and has kept four clean sheets in the process. He is a guaranteed starter.
Defense – Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo
The right-back and left-back berths are automatically filled by Walker and Cancelo, respectively, when Guardiola has both of them available for selection. It is at center-back, however, where he could face a selection headache once everyone is fit and firing on all cylinders.
Guardiola has five to choose from, including summer signing Manuel Akanji, meaning he is spoilt for choice when they’re all available. However, Dias is a guaranteed starter, leaving John Stones, Nathan Ake, Laporte, and Akanji scrapping for the remaining spot.
All are capable of filling it but Laporte is the most likely winner of the position, such is his status at the club. He made 44 appearances last term and formed a solid partnership with Dias.
Midfield – Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne
Just like at center-back, Guardiola is spoilt for choice in the center of midfield when everyone is available for selection. De Bruyne is a certain starter in the attacking-midfield berth, but Bernardo is under constant pressure from Ilkay Gundogan to retain his place.
Both of them are equally deserving of starting every week, but Bernardo has started the last five league games, meaning he might just get the nod. Rodri has little pressure on his shoulders to keep his place while Phillips is sidelined, such is his role as the midfield anchor.
Attack – Riyad Mahrez, Erling Haaland, Phil Foden