They replace Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling, who all drop to the bench following our 6-3 win over Leicester City on Boxing Day.

Ake starts in the Premier League for the first time since the 2-1 victory against Aston Villa at the beginning of December, whilst Jesus is recalled after being an unused substitute against the Foxes.

Foden and Grealish return following two consecutive games on the bench and Bernardo Silva makes his 150th Premier League appearance for the Club.

Rodrigo, John Stones and Kyle Walker are not fully fit and are not included in the matchday squad for our final game of 2021.


CITY: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake, Fernandinho (C), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Foden, Jesus, Grealish.

SUBS: Steffen, Carson, Sterling, Gündogan, Zinchenko, Mahrez, Mbete, Palmer.

BRENTFORD: Fernandez, Pinnock, Jansson (C), Sorensen, Roerslev, Baptiste, Jensen, Onyeka, Thompson, Wissa, Toney.

SUBS: Canos, Forss, Ghoddos, Peart-Harris, Bidstrup, Stevens, Cox.

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The players selected suggest it should be the familiar 4-3-3 formation for City.

Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte will retain their usual spots in the back four, with Ake replacing Zinchenko at left-back.

Fernandinho will sit deepest in midfield, behind the in form playmaking duo of Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.

In the front three, Grealish will resume his favoured position on the left flank, whilst both Foden and Jesus could be deployed through the middle.

As always, we’ll have to wait until kick-off for the full picture on how City are shaping up.


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City looking to finish strongly

The 2020 festive period was a pivotal moment in last season’s title triumph, as City embarked on a record-breaking winning streak which paved the way for our sixth Premier League crown.

Fast forward 12 months and it has been another fruitful Christmas for Guardiola’s men, who will be hoping to end the year on a high after producing some of their best performances of the campaign in recent weeks.

Facing a Brentford side who have won two of their last 10 league games, City come into the contest chasing a 10th consecutive win in the competition, which would ensure we enter the second half of the season at least six points clear at the top of the table.

We have ended the calendar year in pole position twice before – 2011-12 and 2017-18 – and on both occasions went on to lift the title.

There is a long way to go, of course, but given our recent goalscoring form we should be full of confidence for this game, and another clinical display would round be a fitting end to what’s been a successful 2021.

As it stands

English Premier League

Manchester City Man City 19 15 2 2 50 12 38 47 WWWWW
Chelsea Chelsea 20 13 5 2 43 13 30 44 LWDDW
Liverpool Liverpool 19 12 5 2 50 16 34 41 WWWDL

Match stats and facts

  • This is our first meeting with Brentford since our 1-0 victory in the FA Cup third round at Griffin Park in 1997.
  • Brentford's 2-0 home win in the second tier in 1951 is the most recent league game between the clubs.
  • City will be Premier League leaders at the turn of the year for the third time, after 2011-12 and 2017-18. We went on to win the title in both of those seasons.
  • City have won nine consecutive Premier League matches by an aggregate score of 30-6, since a 2-0 home defeat versus Crystal Palace on 30 October.
  • We have lost our final league match of a calendar year in only one of the last 20 seasons, a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool in 2016.
  • Guardiola's men have set English top-flight records for most victories (35) and most away wins (18) in a single calendar year.
  • City's tally of 112 Premier League goals in 2021 is the most by a top-flight team in a single calendar year since Arsenal netted 112 in 1963. Spurs (114) and Wolves (113) were the last top-flight clubs to score more, both in 1960.
  • City can equal the club top-flight record of scoring at least four goals in four successive games, set in 1905.
  • Riyad Mahrez has scored and assisted in City's last three Premier League matches. He can score in four successive Premier League appearances for the first time.