Manchester City will play hosts to FC Porto at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night hoping to secure a comfortable home win in the opening game of their UEFA Champions League campaign. The Mancunian outfit managed to grind out a 1-0 victory over Arsenal last weekend. However, Porto were held to a 2-2 draw by their arch-rivals Sporting CP on Sunday and would be the clear underdogs going into this European showdown in midweek.
Pep Guardiola could stick with his unorthodox 3-1-4-2 formation and will ask his players to dominate the ball so that they can create enough chances to win this game. The Man City back three will fancy their chances of neutralising the threat of the Porto attackers during the contest after their solid performance versus the Gunners last weekend.
Sérgio Conceição might revert to a 4-3-3 formation for this game on the road. He will ask his men to sit back, defend deep and try to hit Man City using the runs from Moussa Marega and Jesús Manuel Corona on the break.
Guardiola has a whole host of injury concerns as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy are all sidelined for this game in midweek.
Manchester City Predicted XI
Ederson, Ake, Dias, Walker, Fernandinho, Silva, Gundogan, Rodri, Mahrez, Sterling, Aguero
Ivan Marcano and Mouhamed Mbaye remain long-term casualties for the Portuguese outfit. Otherwise, Sérgio Conceição does not have any new injury problems heading into this European encounter versus the EFL Cup champions.
FC Porto Predicted XI
Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Sanusi; Oliveira, Otavio, Uribe; Corona, Marega, Anderson
Raheem Sterling will once again carry most of his team’s goal-scoring burden up top. Both Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva also need to have a good game out on the flanks as they focus on causing a lot of problems for the opposition defenders using their pace and guile in the final third.
Moussa Marega and Jesús Manuel Corona have to figure out a way to engineer a few problems for the Man City defenders. At the other end, Chancel Mbemba and Pepe will be responsible for keeping Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero quiet during the 90 minutes.
Pep Guardiola’s men are the heavy favourites to secure a victory at home as they are listed at 5/18 by the bookies. The draw has been priced at 11/2 while the Portuguese champions are 8/1 underdogs to earn all three points away at the Etihad Stadium.