By Harvey Byrne
Manchester City’s summer signing Ilkay Gundogan should be axed from the starting line-up that faces Tottenham on Sunday.
The Manchester club will travel to White Hart Lane, where they will face an unbeaten second placed team and be in need of extra reinforcements in defence.
Senior trio Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph and Vincent Kompany are all in the injury room, while Nolito is serving a three game suspension, restricting Pep Guardiola’s options, but the Spanish boss will still have a strong squad to select from.
Fernando should come into the team for Gundogan, operating in the anchor role alongside fellow Brazilian Fernandinho.
That would then help City side counter against an expected Spurs line-up, which will also contain three attacking midfielders.
City have won all six Premier League fixtures so far, including wins against rivals United but Spurs will arguably provide their biggest test of the new campaign, meaning that they will need to be more reserved in the tie.
The defence is expected to stay as the regular back four in front of Claudio Bravo, but given the shakiness of the back line as well as Bravo, it’s a further indication they need an extra player in midfield to shield them.
Placing Fernando in midfield will also allow the attacking trio of Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Leroy Sane to focus purely on going forward and all three would provide a threat to most sides in the league.
Sergio Aguero will also spearhead the attack, with the Argentina international in great form in the new campaign, scoring 11 goals in seven fixtures in all competitions.
Tottenham completed the double over City in the last campaign, which includes a heavy 4-1 defeat in the same fixture and Guardiola’s side will be keen to avenge these two defeats.
In other Manchester City news, Guardiola has hailed Mauricio Pochettino as “one of the best managers in the world”.