Manchester City are set to resume their UEFA Champions League campaign on Tuesday when they take on Sporting CP in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash. The Citizens are heading into this game on the back of three consecutive wins in all competitions, and have an unassailable nine-point lead at the top of the Premier League charts.
However, they are up against a Sporting CP side that leapfrogged Bundesliga juggernaut Borussia Dortmund to reach the Round of 16. They are expected to show similar resilience when they take on the last year’s finalists, who are aiming to lift the cup this time around.
Sporting CP vs Manchester City Preview
Sporting CP head coach Ruben Amorim likes to operate with a three-man backline that isn’t afraid to defend higher up the pitch. However, given the quality of the opposition, the hosts could settle for a more conservative approach and try to frustrate the City attackers by adopting a low block.
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola is unlikely to shift away from his 4-3-3 setup that can effortlessly transform into a three-man backline. However, with Kyle Walker suspended, Guardiola may have a decision to make in regards to team selection, with John Stones and Oleksandro Zinchenko vying for a place in the backline.
Pedro Goncalves’ fitness remains a big question mark for Sporting CP heading into this contest. Amorim will hope that the Portuguese international returns to action, knowing how important he is to the team’s productivity and chance creation in the final third.
As iterated earlier, Walker is facing a suspension for Manchester City, but apart from him, Guardiola may not have to deal with too many absentees for this Sporting clash. We predict the Man City coach to give Zinchenko the nod ahead of Stones in defence, with Cancelo operating at right-back.
Sporting CP: Adan; Inacio, Coates, Feddal; Porro, Nunes, Palhinha, Reis; Sarabia, Paulinho, Goncalves
Manchester City: Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, de Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling
Sporting 0-2 Manchester City
|United Kingdom||BT Sport|
|USA||FUBO TV / Paramount+|
|Italy||SKY Go Italia, Mediaset Infinity|