Premier League champions Manchester City will take on relegation battlers Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Manchester City will go up against a relegation-threatened Huddersfield Town side at home on Sunday, in matchweek 36 of the Premier League.
Having already lifted the Premier League crown, Pep Guardiola’s Citizens will be looking to end the season on a high and topple some more records along the way – with the milestones for most points in a single season and the most goals scored in a season up for grabs.
Huddersfield, on the other hand, will be hoping to cause a major upset on Sunday and boost their hopes of staying up in the Premier League. David Wagner’s Terriers find themselves in the 16th place in the standings, just three points above the 18th-placed Southampton, having lost four of their last seven fixtures.
The two teams have clashed on three occasions in the 2017/18 campaign, once in the league and twice in the FA Cup, with City coming out on top on two occasions, with the third game ending in a draw.
Team News & Tactics
The newly crowned champions will welcome back full-back Kyle Walker into the side after his recent injury against West Ham United while captain Vincent Kompany is also expected to recover from illness and be involved in Sunday’s encounter. John Stones though, is unlikely to be back for the game, as he recovers from an adductor problem, whereas Sergio Aguero is definitely ruled out for the Sky Blues.
Between the sticks, Ederson has been exceptional for the Mancunian outfit and will be hoping to add another clean sheet to his tally of 15 in the league this season. The fit-again Walker should return to the starting XI at right-back on Sunday, while on the opposite flank, Frenchman Benjamin Mendy could be set for his much-awaited return after spending almost the entire season out on the sidelines.
With Stones unlikely to be risked, Nicolas Otamendi will continue to feature in the starting lineup for Guardiola’s side and is likely to be paired up with captain Kompany.
The three-man midfield should once again comprise of the brilliant Fernandinho at the base to provide the defensive shield, with City’s dynamic midfield duo of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva given the freedom to create opportunities in the attacking third.
Raheem Sterling will look to continue his excellent run of form against the Terriers and will be tasked with providing the cutting edge from the right flank, while German international Leroy Sane should get the nod on the left-hand side. And in the absence of Aguero, Brazilian sensation Gabriel Jesus is once again expected to lead the line for the Citizens.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Mendy; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sane
Attacking midfielder Tom Ince is a major doubt for the game for the Terriers due to a hamstring problem. Elsewhere, defender Michael Hefele has returned to training, but will not be rushed back into action while Elias Kachunga and Danny Williams have been ruled out for the season.
Danish shot stopper Jonas Lossl has done a more than decent job with Wagner’s side this campaign and needs to be at the top of his game, facing up against a dangerous City attack on Sunday.
The full-back positions on the right and the left sides will be occupied by Florent Hadergjonaj and January signing Terence Kongolo respectively. Both will be in for a stern test going up against the pacey Sterling and Sane. In the heart of the defence, the established partnership of Christopher Schindler and Mathias Jorgensen is expected to continue.
Former Manchester City player Aaron Mooy will line up in one of the pivot positions in the middle of the park and try to provide the forward momentum, alongside the defensive-minded Jonathan Hogg, who will be in charge of breaking up City from building up play.
Collin Quaner and Rajiv van La Parra will be deployed out on the right and left flanks, respectively to try and stretch the home team’s backline while January arrival Alex Pritchard will look to pull the strings from the No.10 position. Spearheading the attack for the Terriers on Sunday will be Steve Mounie.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Lossl; Hadergjonaj, Schindler, Jorgensen, Kongolo; Mooy, Hogg; Quaner, Pritchard, La Parra; Mounie;
- Manchester City are just one goal away from equalling Chelsea’s Premier League record of most goals scored (103) in a season, which they set in the 2009/10 campaign.
- A victory for the Citizens on Sunday would also set a new record for highest number of points in a single top-flight season, overcoming Chelsea’s record tally of 95 points achieved back in 2004/05.
- Huddersfield Town have failed to score in 19 different Premier League games this season.
- Manchester City have won 15 of their last 16 home matches in the Premier League.
Player to watch
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
The 21-year old Brazilian international has continued to enhance his burgeoning reputation as one of the most lethal young goalscorers in the game, with his deadly performances at the tip of City’s attack. Jesus, this season, has managed to come up with returns of 16 goals and 5 assists in 39 games across all competitions, despite having spent over a month out on the sidelines with injury.
Jesus has scored in his last four appearances for Manchester City in all competitions – the last player to score in five in a row for the club was Aguero, a run of six in April 2017. In the absence of his senior strike partner, the onus will be on him to keep City’s juggernaut going on against Huddersfield on Sunday.
Manchester City 4-0 Huddersfield
Huddersfield Town are fighting for survival, but as seen in their recent performances, they have struggled to cope with the challenge and the pressure. And this Manchester City side is too ruthless to spare any signs of nerves from the Terriers on Sunday. And as a result, we at the Hard Tackle expect another resounding 4-0 victory for the champions.