Manchester City welcome a free-scoring Monaco side to the Etihad Stadium as they look to thwart the in-form attackers of the French side and turn the 1st leg into an advantageous one. City have been hit hard with injuries throughout the season and although they have eased out over time, the latest blows certainly have the potential to derail things once again. As of now, they are missing Gundogan, Kompany and Gabriel Jesus. Toure’s resurgence has somewhat cushioned the blow of missing Gundogan but Jesus’ absence might prove to be costly.
Monaco are certainly no pushovers and are arguably in the Top 5 attacking sides in Europe at the moment and faced with a jittery City backline will be backing themselves to gain some ground in the first leg and complete the task in the 2nd leg. Falcao will be returning to England once again after his ill-fated stints at Chelsea and Manchester United.
- This is the first competitive encounter between Manchester City and Monaco.
- Manchester City have never lost to French opposition in European competition (W1 D2), with all three previous meetings coming against PSG.
- Meanwhile, Monaco have come out on top in each of their three Champions League knockout ties with English clubs (v Manchester Utd in 1997/98, Chelsea in 2003/04, Arsenal in 2014/15).
- In fact, Monaco have lost only one of their five Champions League away games against English opposition (W2 D2), winning their last two CL games on English soil (v Arsenal in February 2015, v Tottenham in September 2016).
- Manchester City have won their Champions League group only once in six participations (2015/16). It’s also the first time Pep Guardiola hasn’t secured top spot in a Champions League group campaign as manager.
- Monaco have topped their Champions League group four times in as many participations under the current format (2003/04, 2004/05, 2014/15, 2016/17).
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League home games (W5 D3), conceding only five goals in the along the way, their longest run without a defeat in the competition at the Etihad.
- However, Manchester City have won only one of their five home games in the Champions League knockout stages (D2 L2), it was against PSG last April.
TEAM NEWS & PREDICTED LINE-UPS
MANCHESTER CITY (4-1-4-1)
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is unavailable with the leg injury that forced him to miss the FA Cup tie at Huddersfield. Left-back Gael Clichy is hoping to prove his fitness after a back problem while Guardiola is still to decide whether Willy Caballero or Claudio Bravo will play in goal.
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (knee) and striker Gabriel Jesus (foot) are both sidelined with long-term injuries.
Caballero; Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Fernandinho; Toure; Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva, Sane; Aguero
The French side will be without attacking midfielder Gabriel Boschilla as he recovers from a cruciate injury. But goals have not been hard to come by for them and the rest of the team will be raring to go.
Subasic; Sidibé, Glik, Raggi, Mendy; Bernardo, Fabinho, Bakayoko, Lemar; Falcao, Germain
MANCHESTER CITY- 8/13
TRIVIA COURTESY- OPTA
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