This 18-year-old creative ace will be responsible for Man City’s triumphs against Hoffenheim in the Champions League


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Phil Foden holds the key to Manchester City’s success against Hoffenheim

Manchester City’s unbeaten run in the Premier League this season came to an end at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea upset the odds to beat the Citizens 2-0.

Pep Guardiola’s men slipped to 2nd in the standings for the first time this season and it will be interesting to see how they react in their next game when they play host to Hoffenheim for the final game of the group stages of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Manchester City have been on a goalscoring spree this season, having scored 45 goals from 16 games but the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea was only the second time that the Citizens failed to find the net. The reigning Premier League champions have been a dominant force at the top of the table, tearing the opposition apart with their incredible goalscoring prowess.

As rampant as City have been in the Premier League this season, they haven’t really stamped their authority in the Champions League. The Sky Blues began their campaign on a shocking note, losing 2-1 to Lyon at home on Matchday 1.

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They were given a run for their money by Champions League newcomers Hoffenheim on Matchday 2 but they Citizens came back from behind to register a 2-1 win. After demolishing Shakhtar Donetsk in both the legs, City once again found life tough against Lyon away from home but came back from behind twice to hold the French outfit to a 2-2 draw.

They are not likely to have too many headaches when they play host to Hoffenheim, having already beaten the German outfit 2-1 on Matchday 2. Hoffenheim are definitely not an easy team to beat but City have already sealed qualification to the knockout stages, which should prompt Guardiola to make radical changes to the eleven that faced Chelsea in the last game.

And one player who is definitely going to get a look in for this game is none other than the highly-rated 18-year-old English prodigy Phil Foden.

After an impressive display for the Citizens in the FA Community Shield game against Chelsea, Phil Foden might have expected to get a bit more first-team action than he has been given so far by Guardiola.

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The 18-year-old has made 8 substitute appearances in the Premier League, playing a total of 93 minutes. Quite clearly, that is not enough for a youngster to prove his worth. Foden scored in City’s win over Oxford United in the Carabao Cup but has played only 4 minutes in the Champions League across 2 substitute appearances, a ridiculously low count for a player of his calibre.

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Having already sealed their place in the last 16 of the competition, City can afford to experiment with their squad and Guardiola should hand Foden a start to see what he can actually bring into the team. As well as City have done so far, they will need to rely on their squad depth later in the season when the injuries are likely to creep in and Phil Foden is likely to be in contention for a more significant role.

David Silva is struggling with a tight hamstring and City will need him to overpower Everton on Saturday, which should prompt Guardiola to use Foden as the creative midfielder. He is at his best when he is deployed in a free playmaking role behind the forward line and the fans can definitely expect to see a lot more of their talented academy product in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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