Men's Team

Doku, Gvardiol and Akanji return for Forest clash, Grealish on the bench

Jeremy Doku, Josko Gvardiol and Manuel Akanji all return as City make three changes in total for Saturday’s Premier League home clash with Nottingham Forest.

The trio come into the starting line up in place of Nathan Ake, Sergio Gomez and Bernardo Silva from the side that started Tuesday's Champions League match against Red Star Belgrade.

Meanwhile Jack Grealish, who has missed our last three games with a thigh issue, also returns to the matchday squad and is named by City manager Pep Guardiola on the bench.

Today’s game came too soon for Mateo Kovacic though the Croatian midfielder is nearing a return to full fitness.

Bernardo is unavailable after being forced off against Red Star in midweek with Guardiola revealing at Friday’s pre-match press conference that he is expected to be sidelined for a week or two through injury.

The pair join John Stones (hip) and Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring) who remain unavailable for selection having been sidelined since last month.


CITY XI: Ederson, Walker (C), Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol, Rodrigo, Nunes, Foden, Alvarez, Doku, Haaland

Subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Phillips, Ake, Grealish, Gomez, Bobb, Lewis

Forest: Turner, Aurier (C), Boly, Niakhate, Aina, Tavares, Mangala, Sangare, Dominguez, Gibbs-White, Awoniyi

Subs: Vlachodimos, Worrall, Kouyate, Wood, Hudson-Odoi, Elanga, Yates, Origi, Montiel


Ederson will be the familiar figure in goal and the Brazilian international keeper will be protected by a back four of skipper Kyle Walker, Akanji, Ruben Dias and Gvardiol.

Rodri is set to be deployed as the holding midfielder with summer signing Matheus Nunes also operating in the engine room.

Doku and Phil Foden are expected to be entrusted with providing City's width while Argentine World Cup winner Julian Alvarez will once again be entrusted to provide support alongside central striker Erling Haaland.

Baker’s dozen

City will kick off this afternoon seeking a 13th consecutive Premier League home win.

Guardiola’s side have won our last 12 home Premier League matches, all during 2023, with City last picking up more consecutive home league wins during a superb run between September 2017 and March 2018 (14).

The only other Premier League side to win their first 12 home games in a calendar year is Manchester United in 2011, whose 13-match winning run at the start of that year was ironically ended by that iconic 6-1 defeat to City at Old Trafford in October.

Stats and facts

  • City are unbeaten in six league games against Nottingham Forest (W4 D2) since a 3-2 home defeat in the second tier in December 1997.
  • This is just Nottingham Forest's third visit to the Etihad Stadium to face City – they won an FA Cup tie 3-0 in January 2009, before losing this exact fixture 6-0 in August last season.
  • City are looking to start a Premier League season on a run of six consecutive victories for only the second time, doing so in 2016-17. They could be only the second reigning champions to achieve this, after Chelsea in 2005-06, who went on to retain their title that season.
  • Since an 11-game winless run between February and April in which they picked up three points (D3 L8), Forest have lost just three of their last 11 games while collecting 18 points (W5 D3), although all three defeats in this run have been away from home.
  • Nottingham Forest will start the game in eighth place, their highest in the Premier League for a game since September 1998, a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea when starting the day seventh. Forest have never won a Premier League game against the side starting top (D3 L5), last doing so in the top-flight in April 1992 against Manchester United.
  • City have won our last 15 home Premier League matches against sides whose name begins with ‘N’ by an aggregate score of 60-4, beating Newcastle 10 times, Norwich four times and Nottingham Forest once in this run. Norwich were the last ‘N’ side to beat them at the Etihad, a 3-2 win in May 2013.
  • Erling Haaland has scored 43 goals in his 40 Premier League appearances for City. Among the 48 teams who have played 40 games in the competition, it’s more than 16 of them managed in their first 40 matches, including Nottingham Forest (40).
  • Taiwo Awoniyi has been involved in at least one goal in his last nine Premier League appearances for Nottingham Forest, scoring nine goals and assisting two despite not completing 90 minutes in any of those games. The only African player to score or assist in 10 consecutive appearances in the competition is Mohamed Salah, doing so twice (15 ending in December 2021 and a current ongoing run of 11).
  • Julián Álvarez has created 16 chances in the Premier League this season – assisting two goals against West Ham last time out – with only Wolves' Pedro Neto (17) creating more. The last Man City player to create more in the club’s first five league matches of a season was Kevin De Bruyne in 2019-20 (19).