Leroy Sane, Danilo and Aymeric Laporte are recalled to the starting XI versus Schalke as pep Guardiola makes three changes to the side that beat Watford at the weekend.

Vincent Kompany didn’t train yesterday and isn’t in the matchday squad this evening and Nicolas Otamendi is suspended.

Laporte and Danilo will form the central defensive pairing while Sane replaces Riyad Mahrez.

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City starting XI and bench:

Ederson, Walker, Zinchenko, Danilo, Laporte, Gundogan, D Silva (c), Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero, Sane

Subs: Muric, Delph, Stones, Mahrez, G Jesus, Foden, Humphreys

Formation: 4-3-3

Danilo looks set to play as a centre-half with Kompany out and Otamendi suspended.

John Stones and Cameron Humphreys are also on the bench as back-up.

Otherwise, it’s as you were formation-wise with Sane selected ahead of Mahrez on the left flank.


                        DANILO: Versatile...
DANILO: Versatile...

Champions League opportunity

City know there is work to be done this evening and no thoughts of the quarter-finals will be entertained until progression is assured.

But if the Blues do progress, the absence of Real Madrid, Paris St Germain and one of either Atletico Madrid or Juventus – plus one of either Liverpool and Bayern Munich and Barcelona and Lyon – means the competition is wide open.

Spurs and Manchester United are already there and the prospect of four Premier League representatives in the last eight is an intriguing one.

It would also make Friday’s last eight draw fascinating…


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Stats and milestones

City go into the game with the knowledge that on the previous 27 occasions teams have scored three goals away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knock-out stage tie, every team has progressed.

In four meetings with Schalke, City have won three ties and lost once. The only meeting in Manchester ended 5-1 in the second leg of the 1969-70 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final.

In 10 meetings with German opposition at home, only Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich have beaten the Blues.

City are aiming to avoid a third successive home loss in the Champions League knockout rounds having been beaten by FC Basel and Liverpool on the last two occasions.

Pep Guardiola is unbeaten in seven games against Schalke as manager, winning five a drawing two.

Schalke have won just one of nine knockout stage matches, drawing one and losing the other seven.

Schalke have scored with each of their last three shots on target in the Champions League – two penalties and one free-kick.

Schalke remain in trouble in the Bundesliga – they are 14th of 18 teams with 23 points from 25 games.

Schalke have lost their last two Bundesliga games, conceding four goals on each occasion (0-4 to Fortuna and 2-4 versus Werder Bremen).