Six Man City players Pep Guardiola should dropp for Manchester United match following Southampton shambles

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Six Man City players Pep Guardiola should dropp for Manchester United match following Southampton shambles

Pep Guardiola will be aware that Manchester City’s errors at Southampton can be quickly and easily rectified if it is possible to draw any positives from such a dreadful performance.

He appeared composed as he analyzed City’s performance at St. Mary’s, asserting that the best team won and that his team’s errors stemmed more from a collective attitude problem than from any tactical adjustments. 

 “We were not ready to win this game,” he said, adding that even if Erling Haaland or Kevin De Bruyne had started, he believed the entire squad was at fault for not showing up.

This admission, coupled with Ilkay Gundogan’s statement that the team’s “desire and hunger” to win are not quite right at the moment, is alarming. Guardiola is aware that he can make simple personnel adjustments for Saturday’s Premier League derby at Manchester United to rectify the situation.

Guardiola stated that City has “no chance” against United if they replicate their performance against Southampton at Old Trafford. United are in excellent form, and City would have struggled to win any game with their performance on Wednesday, especially since they failed to record a single shot on target. 

As much as this quote thrilled the red half of Manchester, it is a fairly obvious statement.

Six players, in particular, failed to capitalize on their opportunities on the south coast. As a result, in order to increase his chances from nil, he will likely make extensive lineup adjustments.

In goal, Ederson would be expected to return after two cup games on the bench, but Stefan Ortega’s performance against Southampton was poor, and he may only get one more start if City fails to defeat Arsenal in the FA Cup later this month.

Ortega was shaky throughout, and had Ederson been in goal, City may have reached halftime with a score of 0-0. Ortega was responsible for City losing possession in the buildup to Southampton’s first goal, and was oddly in no-land man’s for their second goal, allowing Moussa Djenepo a large margin of error for his 30-yard lob.

Similarly, they wouldn’t have fallen behind by a goal if Sergio Gomez hadn’t given up possession so carelessly while attempting to break. His 45 minutes were littered with mistakes, including an unforgivable foul throw, and the City fans who had made the long trip booed sarcastically when he was replaced at halftime.

Gomez has been supplanted by Nathan Ake as the club’s second-choice left back, and the Spaniard will need to make significant strides in training if he wants to return to the starting lineup this season.

On the opposite side of the defense, Joao Cancelo’s inconsistency continues, as he has started at left-back only once since his red card against Fulham. 

He was not the worst player for Southampton, but he had no positive impact on the game. Kyle Walker was similarly ineffective, but he can be excused because he was playing out of position at center-back. Walker or Rico Lewis will likely start the derby. Cancelo is out of form on both sides of the defense, and a return to the bench at Old Trafford could be beneficial.

Similarly, Kalvin Phillips would be extremely fortunate to retain his position after making his first start for the club this week. Rodri’s performance lacked composure, and he was responsible for Southampton’s second goal by losing possession. 

Guardiola defended Phillips after the game, claiming he needs more time, but City improved immediately when Rodri replaced him, and it’s safe to assume he’ll be on the bench on Saturday.

Cole Palmer, who has not exactly made the most of his opportunities in his last two cup starts, should do the same. Palmer performed adequately on the left against Chelsea and the right against Southampton, but nothing more. He was knocked off the ball far too easily on Wednesday, and City did not miss him in the second half. Riyad Mahrez, who is in fine form, is the obvious choice to replace him at United.

Even though Phil Foden scored a hat-trick against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in October, he may be a candidate for a substitute’s role at Old Trafford. Since then, however, Foden appears to have fallen a little out of favor on the wings, and his last two games in the center have been encouraging but not spectacular.

When he switched to the wings on Wednesday night, he immediately looked better, so he would play there against United. Due to Guardiola’s preference for more control on the flanks in recent weeks, it is possible that Bernardo Silva or Jack Grealish will replace Foden in the derby.

Therefore, with at least six players facing a demotion to the bench, seven are assured of starting positions. Ederson, Ake, Manuel Akanji, and Rodri are City’s most in-form defenders and will be crucial to improving the team’s performance and mentality in the upcoming match. Forward, De Bruyne, Mahrez, and Erling Haaland are all expected to play from the opening whistle despite failing to score against Southampton.

John Stones, who missed the trip to Southampton due to a lack of fitness, would also be an obvious starter if he is available.

Although wholesale changes may not alter the mentality, they will send a message to the fringe players that St. Mary’s-like performances are unacceptable. And they will not win the derby for City.

Six Man City players Pep Guardiola should dropp for Manchester United match following Southampton shambles

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