Manchester City host Brentford on Saturday lunchtime to kick off the final weekend of Premier League football before the World Cup.
Pep Guardiola's reigning champions are cantering into the midseason hiatus. City knocked Chelsea out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night to rack up a 16th consecutive home victory.
Brentford, by comparison, are stumbling towards what must feel like a merciful break from club football. With Ivan Toney entangled in betting allegations off the pitch, the Bees have won just one of their last nine matches, bowing out of the EFL Cup in midweek to fourth-tier Gillingham.
Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming meeting between this pair.
Kalvin Phillips returned after shoulder surgery for his first competitive outing since September on Wednesday night. Kyle Walker is yet to remerge after suffering a groin injury but is nearing the conclusion of his recovery.
Joao Cancelo was dismissed during City's last Premier League outing against Fulham but served his one-match suspension against Chelsea in midweek, leaving him available for Saturday lunchtime.
Man City Starting 11 (4-3-3): Ederson; Stones, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo; Mahrez, Haaland, Foden.
Bench: Ortega, Lewis, Dias, Laporte, Gomez, Gundogan, Phillips, Grealish, Alvarez.
Christian Norgaard made his first appearance since August during the midweek cupset after recovering from an Achilles problem. The Denmark international was replaced at half-time but Thomas Frank revealed that it was a pre-arranged alteration as part of his recovery.
Midfielders Vitaly Janelt (muscle) and Shandon Baptiste (adductor) are doubts. Thomas Strakosha and Aaron Hickey have been nursing ankle injuries in recent weeks while Kristoffer Ajer and Charlie Goode are sidelined by knee problems. Captain Pontus Jansson has also been ruled out with a thigh complaint.
Brentford Starting 11 (3-5-2): Raya; Jorgensen, Mee, Pinnock; Roerslev, Dasilva, Norgaard, Jensen, Henry; Mbeumo, Toney.
Bench: Cox, Wissa, Lewis-Potter, Canos, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Damsgaard, Crama, Trevitt.
Last season Frank described City as "the best team in the world against the low block". Following the addition of a certain Erling Haaland, City's attacking supremacy has only increased; as signalled by the startling average of 4.1 Premier League goals per home game this season.
Brentford's last goal against City may have come before the advent of the internet, but the Bees were obdurate opponents for the champions home and away last season. Nevertheless, City are strong favourites to sign off ahead of Qatar with yet another comfortable home win.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Brentford
Manchester City's predicted starting XI for their Premier League meeting with Brentford.
Team news, predicted lineups, and everything else you need to know ahead man City v Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.
How to watch Man City vs Brentford in the Premier League on TV and live streaming services.
Predicting Pep Guardiola's Man City lineup for the Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea.
© 2022 Minute Media – All rights reserved