Manchester City have to navigate the challenge of Shakhtar Donetsk in the UCL before the massive derby in the weekend. City are currently top of their group but a loss or a draw could see them relinquish that position. Thus, even though Pep will make changes, he will expect nothing less than 3 points.
The Sky Blues have scored 13 goals in their last 3 home games and will back themselves after a resounding 6-1 win over Southampton on Sunday. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero were the standout performers notching 3 goals and 4 assists between them.
Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca will be able to call upon the services of key Brazilian duo-Taison and Dentinho and he will need all the quality he can muster to come away with a positive result.
MANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS
Pep is likely to have a near-full strength team to choose from. Kevin de Bruyne and Claudio Bravo are long-term absentees while Eliaquim Mangala is not yet match-fit.
PREDICTED MANCHESTER CITY LINEUP VS SHAKHTAR DONETSK
Ederson will start in goal. The Brazilian conceded a penalty and resultantly a goal against Southampton. He will look to quickly get over that slight aberration with another commanding display tomorrow.
Pep might surprise a few by selecting Danilo at right-back. With the Manchester derby in a couple of days after this game, we might see selections affected a tad bit.
Aymeric Laporte is expected to start once again. John Stones has started the last 3 games and we might see Vincent Kompany taking his place tomorrow.
Benjamin Mendy might get a day off. He hasn’t been at his best in the last weeks and Pep will want him in peak condition for the derby. We expect Fabian Delph to start at left-back.
Fernandinho is expected to anchor the midfield. The Brazilian has found his rhythm as the season has progressed and Pep might look to take him off around the hour mark if City are in a comfortable position.
Ilkay Gundogan has been training for the past week and might be handed a start in midfield. David Silva‘s form in the Champions League has been excellent and he will look to carry on in the same vein.
Leroy Sane looks likely to get his second consecutive start on the left wing. His pace will certainly be something City will look to use to unsettle the visitors. Riyad Mahrez was not used against Southampton and will start on the right.
Sergio Aguero is in line for a breather with Gabriel Jesus expected to lead the attack.