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.
BRENTFORD: Fernandez, Pinnock, Jansson (C), Sorensen, Roerslev, Baptiste, Jensen, Onyeka, Thompson, Wissa, Toney.
SUBS: Canos, Forss, Ghoddos, Peart-Harris, Bidstrup, Stevens, Cox.
The players selected suggest it should be the familiar 4-3-3 formation for City.
Grealish, Foden and Jesus have all played in the three positions across the forward line and that could be the same again at the Brentford Community Stadium, so, as always, we’ll have to wait until kick-off for the full picture on how City are shaping up.
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.
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.