Shakhtar Donetsk vs Man City: Preview, Team News, Predicted XI and Score Prediction
With Liverpool’s 3-1 triumph over Newcastle United stretching the gap to five points at the top of the table in the Premier League after five rounds of fixtures, Pep Guardiola’s men now turn their attention to the UEFA Champions League.
The reigning English champions are all set to kick start their European campaign with a trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk, an opposition they should be quite familiar with after being drawn together with the Ukrainian heavyweights for the third time in a row.
As a matter of fact, this is the first time in the competition that two teams have been drawn together in the same group for three successive years since Ajax and Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Despite their dominance on the domestic front over the past decade, Man City have failed to conquer the UEFA Champions League and the Cityzens will be hoping to make a strong statement at the biggest stage of it all this time around, having crashed out of the competition in the quarter-finals against Tottenham Hotspur last year.
Drawn along with Shakhtar, Dinamo Zagreb and newcomers Atalanta in Group C, progression to the knockout stages is not expected to be a big problem for City but Pep Guardiola will be hoping for his side to return to winning ways on Matchday 1 after a shock defeat against Norwich this weekend.
To that end, the record books speak very much in favour of the English champions, with City having won three out of their last four European meetings with Shakhtar Donetsk, scoring a total of 12 goals and conceding only twice in those fixtures.
City are the outright favourites to come away with all three points on Matchday 1, although playing in front of a raucous home crowd in a hostile atmosphere in Ukraine could prove to be a challenge for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Aymeric Laporte’s injury continues to be a major headache for Pep Guardiola and it remains to be seen if the manager opts for a makeshift backline after the defensive debacle against Norwich at the weekend.
Benjamin Mendy and Leroy Sane are both ruled out for the clash and the travelling fans might get to see Guardiola rotating his squad and handing an opportunity to Phil Foden in place of veteran David Silva, who started in the Premier League on Saturday.
Fernandinho hasn’t had too much to do this season but the Brazilian is likely to return to the eleven to face his former club on Wednesday if the manager switches back to his preferred 4-3-3 system.
Summer recruit Joao Cancelo has only played a single minute in the Premier League but he might get a chance to impress Guardiola in the Champions League.
Ederson Moraes, Joao Cancelo, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-3 Man City
Despite this being an away game for the Cityzens, their immense quality and depth must help them get through this fixture without much trouble.