A BBC pundit, Stewart Downing, has suggested that Pep Guardiola might make a significant change in Manchester City’s lineup for their Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion today by potentially benching Julian Alvarez.
Following the recent international break, which saw several City players representing their respective nations, domestic football returns as Manchester City faces Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.
Downing, in a recent episode of the BBC’s Football Daily podcast, offered his opinion on the matter, stating, “He might decide to leave Alvarez out. Perhaps he’ll opt for a midfield trio, two wide wingers, and [Erling] Haaland upfront, while removing Alvarez from the number 10 position. This would provide more defensive solidity in case Brighton goes on the offensive, with an extra presence in midfield. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if Alvarez is replaced by [Jeremy] Doku.”
Julian Alvarez, a 23-year-old player, has started all eight of City’s Premier League games this season, completing the full 90 minutes on six occasions. He has scored three goals and provided four assists during this period. In fact, he has been the City player with the most goal-creating actions (5) in these eight games.
This underscores Alvarez’s significant role for the team and makes Guardiola’s potential decision to leave him out of the starting lineup a noteworthy and bold move.
Nonetheless, considering that Alvarez played both of Argentina’s matches during the recent international break, with the latest one being on Wednesday, Downing’s speculation might be rooted in the idea that Guardiola could give Alvarez some rest in this particular match.
Looking ahead to the game, it is evident that Alvarez’s goal-scoring ability has made him a crucial figure in the team, unless his fitness condition necessitates otherwise.