Pep Guardiola &aposs side defeated the London club in the Premier League on Thursday night, with substitutes Riyad Mahrez combining well with Jack Grealish to score the only goal of the game in the second half.
The Blues closed the gap on league-leaders Arsenal to just five points after the Gunners dropped points to Newcastle United in midweek. For now, though, City &aposs focus will switch to the FA Cup as they aim to win the trophy for the first time since 2019.
City could potentially be strengthened by the return of centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who missed the win over Graham Potter&aposs side on Thursday. Meanwhile, Ruben Dias still remains sidelined with a thigh injury.
It was Stefan Ortega who started in the Carabao Cup win over Liverpool in December, and the German shot-stopper is expected to continue as the cup goalkeeper. He has made just four appearances in all competitions so far this season, but has impressed when called upon. With Ederson having played in every single Premier League game, it would be a great opportunity to rest him.
Guardiola started with a strange formation against Chelsea in the Premier League, but he is likely to revert to sort on Sunday. Given that Rico Lewis was so impressive off the bench, he could start at right-back, while Sergio Gomez – who has started just five matches this term – should get a chance at left-back. At the heart of defence, John Stones is expected to continue after his solid showing in midweek and might be partnered by Manuel Akanji.
In midfield, it might be a match to rest Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian needs to be carefully managed, and he is too important to miss any Premier League games. Therefore, a midfield trio of Kalvin Phillips, Bernardo Silva and Cole Palmer could be utilised. Like De Bruyne, Rodri could benefit from a rest – and Phillips certainly needs minutes. For Palmer, meanwhile, it would be a great opportunity to shine.
Grealish and Mahrez were brilliant off the bench in the previous clash and should both return to the starting line-up as a result. Although Erling Haaland didn&apost feature at the World Cup, he didn&apost train in excess during the mid-season break and could therefore be named among the substitutes. His replacement would be World Cup winner Julian Alvarez, who will be itching to start.
Predicted line-up vs Chelsea: Ortega; Lewis, Stones, Akanji, Gomez; Phillips, Bernardo Silva, Palmer; Mahrez, Alvarez, Grealish.