How Man City should line-up against Fulham in the Premier League – Simon Bajkowski

The Blues welcome Fulham to the Etihad Stadium as they look to maintain their 100 per cent start of the season before the Premier League goes on pause for the international break. City narrowly defeated Sheffield United with a late Rodri winner last week while the Cottagers secured a last-gasp draw against Arsenal with 10 men.

City have been boosted ahead of the match as Phil Foden and Manuel Akanji are fit to play. John Stones is returning to fitness but it&aposs unlikely he will be risked ahead of the deadline. “Right now, Phil is completely recovered from his illness,” Juanma Lillo said. “Manu&aposs problem was more prevention. He&aposs more or less there. John is more or less there as well. We&aposre okay, we&aposre fine. It&aposs not decisive.”

Jeremy Doku will be hoping to make his debut after being an unused substitute at Bramall Lane but it&aposs not clear if new signing Matheus Nunes will be involved as he hadn&apost trained with his new teammates on Friday.

Here&aposs how MEN Sport writers believe City should line up and you can add your own team in the widget below.

Phil Foden showed what a game-changer he can be even with illness so he surely deserves a start against Fulham to really show what he can do. Mateo Kovacic has slotted in seamlessly to the City midfield and can continue to grow his partnership with Rodri.

Manu Akanji was the other player missing from Fulham that is back, but as he works his way back to full sharpness there is no need to rush him back because the four defenders who played did a fine enough job (barring Walker&aposs error). Walker is improving at the dual role covering the whole right flank and can have another go here.

Jack Grealish linked up with Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez has performed very well in previous matches against Fulham. Jeremy Doku and Matheus Nunes will both be hoping for some minutes, although that can come from off the bench.

The temptation is to throw Jeremy Doku or Matheus Nunes into the mix, but it seems like Nunes in particular would only be involved from the bench, if at all. Doku might be better coming off the bench for his first experience of the Etihad. With Foden and Akanji both available, they are the only players I can see coming back in from the start.

Akanji can play instead of Josko Gvardiol, shifting Nathan Ake over to left-back. Gvardiol hasn&apost started badly, but can be exploited at left-back and Ake is a safer option. I&aposd also consider keeping Julian Alvarez in the side after three quietly influential performances.

That means a straight choice between Bernardo and Phil Foden. It sounds like Foden was only on the bench at Sheffield United due to illness, so maybe he comes back in against Fulham. Bernardo has welcomed a new baby this week, so may be a logical option to drop out.

Phil Foden was sublime in a central role against Newcastle but wasn&apost fit enough to start at Sheffield United after a bout of illness. But now he&aposs back to full health he should come back into the fold, possibly in place of Julian Alvarez.