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Man City team news: Expected XI for PSG showdown with Kylian Mbappe an injury doubt

Man City: Guardiola expecting tough PSG test

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Pep Guardiola faces several selection dilemmas for the second leg of Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain tonight. Guardiola made eight changes for Saturday’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace, with his second-string side putting in an impressive performance in a 2-0 win. So with a 2-1 lead from the away leg in their favour, here is how Express Sport expects City to line up for this evening’s match at the Etihad Stadium.

Goalkeeper: Ederson

Just about the only position where Guardiola does not have two viable options to choose from.

Ederson is City’s undisputed number one and, now the Carabao Cup is over, Zack Steffen’s only chance of playing in such a massive match is through injury to the Brazilian.

City will progress to the final if they limit PSG to just a single goal, so Ederson’s performance in goal could be key to their chances.

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Defence: Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo

Guardiola has developed a reputation for his heavy rotation of his side and Joao Cancelo was the only starting defender from the first leg to start once again at Palace on Saturday.

Benjamin Mendy, Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte all came into City’s defence for the trip to Selhurst Park, and while they kept a clean sheet, they are all likely to find themselves on the bench once again tonight.

Kyle Walker had a fantastic first leg against PSG, with his speed an absolutely vital aspect when defending against the pace of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar on the break.

John Stones was suspended against Palace, having been sent off against Aston Villa last month, but is likely to come back into the side alongside Ruben Dias, who partnered the Englishman in the first leg.

Guardiola could be tempted to start Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back after he made a positive difference off the bench in Paris, but Cancelo’s versatility makes him the safer option.

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Midfield: Rodri, Bernardo, Gundogan

Fernandinho has been a brilliant servant to City over the last eight years, but now aged 36, he is unlikely to start two games in four days, having played against Palace.

Rodri did play the full 90 minutes at Selhurst Park but has the engine to start once again, playing the crucial holding midfield role which helps guard against PSG’s deadly counter-attacks.

Ilkay Gundogan is almost certain to play. He was rested against Palace and will provide a clear goal threat due to his late runs into the box.

Bernardo Silva played well in the first leg against PSG but is rarely a guaranteed starter for Guardiola, who has so many options to choose from. However, the winning formula from Paris last week may be stuck with.

Attack: Mahrez, Foden, De Bruyne

Sergio Aguero rolled back the years at Selhurst Park, opening the scoring with a typically instinctive powerful finish from a difficult angle. Yet that was just his fourth goal of the season in his 16th appearance, and while his big-game pedigree is not in question, his fitness is.

Raheem Sterling has gone 11 City games without a goal and alongside Ferran Torres will likely drop to the bench after the Palace game.

That means Riyad Mahrez, who was arguably City’s biggest threat in the first leg, and Kevin de Bruyne will continue in attack, having both netted last week.

City’s bench, with Aguero, Sterling, Torres and Gabriel Jesus on it, will provide plenty of firepower if needed.

Mbappe’s injury question mark

While Guardiola only has one absentee, in back-up defender Eric Garcia who is ill, his opposite number Mauricio Pochettino has more problems to deal with.

Midfielder Idrissa Gueye is suspended following his red card in the first leg, while star striker Mbappe is a doubt after missing Saturday’s 2-1 win over Lens with a calf injury.

Guardiola said he was sure Mbappe would play, but Pochettino was less sure when he spoke to the media on Monday.

“We need to assess Kylian,” he said.

“Today he is going to start an individual training session and see if he can be with the team. There is still one day and we will see and decide if he is going to be available.”

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