Manchester City will be aiming to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League when they welcome Nottingham Forest to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night. The reigning champions will enter the contest off the back of a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Forest suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Man City found themselves 2-0 down in the 21st minute of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Palace, but a brilliant second-half performance from the champions saw them score four times without reply, with Erling Braut Haaland scoring an excellent hat trick for the Citizens. Pep Guardiola’s side have now won three and drawn one of their first four matches of the campaign, collecting 10 points in the process, to sit in second position in the table behind Arsenal.
The Citizens beat West Ham United and Bournemouth in their opening two league games before playing out a pulsating 3-3 draw with Newcastle United on August 21; it appeared that the team would be dropping more points against Palace on Saturday, but a brilliant second-half display secured a vital win. Man City will take on Forest and Aston Villa in their next two league matches before travelling to Sevilla for the opening match of their 2022-23 Champions League campaign on September 6. Guardiola’s team are once again the favourites in the Premier League, while they will be hoping that the signing of Haaland can fire them towards success in the Champions League. Forest will be taking on Man City for the first time since an FA Cup fixture in January 2009, which the Reds won 3-0, while this will be the first league meeting between the two sides since the Citizens ran out 3-0 winners in Manchester in March 2002.
The two-time European Cup winners last overcame Man City in the league back in December 1997, recording a 3-2 victory in the Division One fixture. Steve Cooper’s side have made an encouraging start to the 2022-23 campaign, picking up four points from their four matches, which has left them in 14th position in the table. Forest lost at Newcastle United on the opening weekend of the season before beating West Ham United and drawing at Everton in their next two, while they also recorded a 3-0 victory over Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup on August 23. The newly-promoted club will enter this match off the back of a defeat, though, losing at home to Tottenham on Sunday afternoon courtesy of two goals from England captain Harry Kane, and they now face arguably the toughest match on the English football calendar. Man City will again definitely be without the services of Aymeric Laporte due to a knee injury, while Jack Grealish, Kalvin Phillips and Luke Mbete-Tabu remain doubts.
Nathan Ake is expected to recover from a groin issue in time for this match, though, with the Netherlands international potentially starting alongside Ruben Dias in the middle of the defence. Ilkay Gundogan is also in line to start, with Bernardo Silva potentially given a rest from the start, but it could be the same front three from the weekend, with Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez again supporting Haaland. Julian Alvarez, though, is pushing for a starting role against Cooper’s side. As for Forest, the club’s latest signing Renan Lodi could be on the bench, but Moussa Niakhate and Omar Richards remain unavailable for selection through injury. Head coach Cooper is likely to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes, but there could be a spot in the middle of midfield for Remo Freuler. Jesse Lingard could potentially drop out of the starting side, meanwhile, with Taiwo Awoniyi an option to play through the middle with support from Morgan Gibbs-White and Brennan Johnson.
Emmanuel Dennis was lively off the bench at the weekend, and the 24-year-old is also pushing for a spot in the starting side in Manchester. Manchester City face Nottingham Forest as they welcome them to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday afternoon looking to grab another win in their title-defending campaign. The Sky Blues played astoundingly in their 4-2 victory against Crystal Palace in their last fixture, so they will be coming into this match being confident of another victory. They’ve remained undefeated in the last four Premier League matches and hope to maintain this streak in order to take a good enough lead in the top four places. However, Arsenal remain on top having won all four of their fixtures. Pep Guardiola will deploy a 4-3-3 formation as usual but he could allow a few players to take rest as he provides those on the bench an opportunity to impress.
Ederson will operate in between the sticks for Man City as the Brazilian shot-stopper looks to secure a clean sheet after conceding two goals in the previous fixture. John Stones and Ruben Dias are expected to form the centre-half partnership at the heart of City’s backline. Sergio Gomez could feature in the left-back position after making his debut against the Seagulls last weekend allowing Joao Cancelo to play in his preferred position on the opposite flank. They are expected to stretch the opposition backline and track back into defence when the opponents are on the front foot. Kyle Walker would take the bench hoping to impact the game in the latter half if required. Guardiola’s midfield trio consisting of Bernardo Silva, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne could be tasked with creating chances in the attacking third and distributing the ball efficiently. The latter will be going deep into the opposition’s backline, whereas Silva looks to efficiently distribute the ball in the centre of the park.
Ilkay Gundogan would probably come on to the match in the second half to create an impact. Kalvin Phillips picked up a shoulder injury in the friendly against Barcelona, so he remains doubtful to feature. Erling Haaland will come with confidence in this fixture being the hattrick hero against Crystal Palace as he looks to spearhead the attack in the next clash as well. Phil Foden is expected to rile up the crowd after producing some great displays in the left-wing position, he will fancy his chances of finding the back of the net. Julian Alvarez might get the nod over Riyad Mahrez in his preferred right-wing position, looking to provide support from the wide areas. Riyad Mahrez might come on in the latter half of the match if required, so he would be taking up the spot on the bench alongside Jack Grealish who could be fully fit to feature.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Ake, Dias, Cancelo; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Foden, Haaland, Mahrez
Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Worrall, Cook, McKenna; Williams, Yates, Freuler, Toffolo; Johnson, Awoniyi, Gibbs-White