Manchester City have fallen out of the Carabao Cup, marking another early exit from what used to be by far the Sky Blues’ favorite competition. With his eyes on bigger prizes, Pep Guardiola played a much-weakened lineup against a strong Newcastle side, and paid the price, as a historic quadruple will have to wait at least another year for the Cityzens. They also dropped a shocking Prem match to Wolves, simultaneously breaking their perfect record and invincible season bid, although they had a nice bounce back match in the Champions League against RB Leipzig. After the Leipzig match, City also dropped a league contest to Arsenal, marking their first string of consecutive Prem losses since 2018, but they snapped the short streak with a nervy win over Brighton.
Making Guardiola’s job harder is the fact that City’s starting lineup will officially be without superstar midfielder Kevin de Bruyne for the foreseeable future. De Bruyne, who injured his hamstring in a match against Burnley on August 11, is currently recovering from surgery and is expected to be out for a total of 2-3 months. The good news is that Bernardo Silva and John Stones are progressing well in their own injury recoveries, as Silva started the UCL matchup with RB Leipzig and Stones started against Arsenal.
Last year, Manchester City finally won the biggest prize in European soccer, the Champions League, and even secured a historic treble, but if City want to retain silverware in the UCL, Premier League and FA Cup, having the right lineup each matchday will be of vital importance as they balance rest and rotation with properly leveraging star power. After a hard-fought 1-1 draw with perennial rivals Liverpool, City had a short rest but will be thrown back into the fire with some Tuesday European play. They’ll have to recover quickly and put in a good shift, so let’s take a look at how City might line up in the Champions League against RB Leipzig this Tuesday (11/28/23)
Manchester City Starting 11 Vs. Manchester United
- GK- Ederson (Brazil)
- LB- Nathan Aké (Netherlands)
- CB- Joško Gvardiol (Croatia)
- CB- Manuel Akanji (Switzerland)
- RB- Rico Lewis (England)
- MF- Rodri (Spain)
- MF- Bernardo Silva (Portugal)
- CAM- Julián Álvarez (Argentina)
- LW- Jérémy Doku (Belgium
- ST- Erling Haaland (Norway)
- RW- Phil Foden (England)
Losing de Bruyne is an enormous blow for City, as it would be for any team, but nobody’s better equipped to weather the loss of a superstar than Pep Guardiola’s squad. There’s no true replacement for de Bruyne, but his absence has created an opportunity for up-and-coming Argentine talent Julián Álvarez to get much more time in the lineup in something between de Bruyne’s CAM role and a second striker alongside Haaland. Of course, the Norwegian goal machine is still the centerpiece of the Man City lineup, but he’s surrounded by an incredible amount of talent. With City’s depth, Guardiola always has plenty of choices when it comes to setting a lineup, so after zero subs were used in the Liverpool clash, I’d expect some rotation for a match that is far from must-win. Let’s take a look at some of the other stars, veteran and rising, who join Haaland in City’s day-to-day lineup.
Manchester City Position Groups
The Manchester City roster, as with any soccer roster, features 4 separate position groups — Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders, and Forwards. Below is a brief breakdown of each that aims to provide insight into how they stack up against other competition in the Premier League, UCL, and domestic cups.
Manchester City Goalkeepers
After making backbreaking mistakes in more than one past campaign, Man City goalkeeper Ederson might be one of the most vindicated players on the roster following the huge success of 2022-23. He’s as talented as any keeper in the World, and now that he has the trophies to back it up, there’s no doubt that he’s the main man ahead of veterans Stefan Ortega and Scott Carson
Manchester City Defenders
City made a big addition to their defense over the summer; Croatian golden boy Joško Gvardiol, who made a name for himself at the Qatar World Cup and just became the most expensive transfer defender of all time. He can play left back as well as his natural position of center-back, a group that is absolutely loaded at city with veteran stars such as Team England regular John Stones and Portuguese stalwart Rúben Dias. Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji are both versatile players who can slot into a couple of defensive spots, offering Pep plenty of flexibility when it comes to picking a defense, even with star fullback João Cancelo out on loan.
Manchester City Midfielders
With de Bruyne shelved for an undefined period of time, City are without their best midfielder, and indeed their best player, but the good news is that this position group might also include the club’s second-best option. He plays a much different role than KDB, but Rodri has been absolutely fantastic for City over the past year, as he has earned a well-deserved reputation as perhaps the World’s best defensive midfielder, with some timely goals mixed in. Bernardo Silva and his infinite versatility has also played in the middle of the park, and done an admirable job of it despite his slight stature, while his countryman, Matheus Nunes, has slotted in quite well as an understudy. Veteran Mateo Kovačić has done an excellent job fitting in thus far, although he’s picked up a knock himself, while homegrown talent Phil Foden has mixed in between both wings and more of a true midfield role.
Manchester City Forwards
The line between midfield and forward is often blurred at City- such is the case with Belgian youngster Jérémy Doku, who has looked sharp thus far in sky blue. He’s listed as a midfielder, but appears almost exclusively on the wing. The same could be said of England International Jack Grealish, who had an incredibly redemptive 2022-23 after he was initially considered a flop of sorts, but surely lived up to his price tag en route to that historic treble. Julián Álvarez is actually in an opposite situation, where he is listed as a forward but has slotted in as an attacking midfielder in de Bruyne’s absence. With Erling Haaland, however, there’s absolutely no question; he’s a striker through and through, perhaps the best in the entire World, after his arrival immediately spurred City to their greatest season ever.
Manchester City Full Roster
18- Stefan Ortega
33- Scott Carson
2- Kyle Walker
3- Rúben Dias
5- John Stones
6- Nathan Ake
7- João Cancelo (on loan)
21- Sergio Gomez
24- Joško Gvardiol
25- Manuel Akanji
82- Rico Lewis
97- Joshua Wilson-Esbrand (on loan)
4- Kalvin Phillips
8- Mateo Kovačić
17- Kevin de Bryune
20- Bernardo Silva
27- Matheus Nunes
32- Maximo Perrone (on loan)
47- Phil Foden
52- Oscar Bobb
9- Erling Haaland
10- Jack Grealish
11- Jérémy Doku
17- Julián Álvarez
Manchester City Starting 11 FAQ
- Who Is Manchester City’s Starting Goalkeeper?
- Who Is Manchester City’s Starting Striker?
- Who Is Manchester City’s Best Player?
Who Is Manchester City’s Starting Goalkeeper?
Brazilian international Ederson is the full-time starting keeper for City. He’s known for some incredible passing off the back line, and while he’s a bit error-prone, makes some spectacular plays and fully proved himself during last season’s treble run.
Who Is Manchester City’s Starting Striker?
City’s starting striker is none other than Erling Haaland, who made his Premier League debut by scoring a record 36 goals in the competition, and he’s off to another great start this year with a league-best 13 league goals.
Who Is Manchester City’s Best Player?
While Haaland’s goals have him on the shortlist for every award in club football, the correct answer to this question is de Bruyne whenever he’s healthy; he’s truly the driving force behind City’s unstoppable machine. With him out, the answer might now be Haaland, or it could be Rodri, who always shines the brightest in the biggest moments for both club and country.