Manchester City kick off their 2019/20 Champion League campaign with an away clash against familiar European foe Shakhtar Donetsk. City are playing off the back of a disappointing 3-2 defeat at Norwich last weekend in the Premier League.
Due to City’s performance, expect to see some changes to the starting XI. This match is an important time for City to not only get off to a good start in the Champions League, but also shake off any bad demons from the weekend defeat.
In Pep Guardiola’s press conference, it was announced that John Stones suffered a muscle injury in training and that he would be out of action for 4-5 weeks. Stones joins Laporte and Sane on City’s worrying injury list. Phil Foden is also missing for the trip to Ukraine with a virus problem, but is expected to be available for the next league fixture.
Once again, it’s safe to assume Ederson will start in net. Now with the list of current injuries and the poor defensive performance at Norwich, there will be changes to City’s back line. Joao Cancelo may finally get his first start for the team in midweek, due to his experience in Europe and Walker’s recent dip in form. With Stones out, the centre back pairing could be Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho. If Benjamin Mendy is a thousand percent fit and ready to start, we could be seeing the Frenchman returning to the starting XI. With that not looking very likely, Oleksandr Zinchenko will keep his place upon his return to his home country.
The midfield is set to see Rodri and David Silva keep their places. Pep Guardiola will surely put Kevin De Bruyne back in midfield alongside the two Spaniards, after naming the Belgian maestro as a substitute in the defeat to Norwich.
As for the attack, we could just see the one change – with Riyad Mahrez coming in for Bernardo Silva, with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero keeping their places. However, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if we were to see Gabriel Jesus starting ahead of the Argentine on Wednesday night, after looking very lively in his short cameo at Carrow Road.
Substitutes: Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, Angelino, Eric Gracia, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus