Mens Team

City make five changes for Atalanta

City make five changes for Atalanta
Pep Guardiola has made five changes to the side that beat Southampton at the weekend for City’s Champions League encounter with Atalanta.

Joao Cancelo, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Benjamin Mendy and Nicolas Otamendi all return to the starting lineup, with Kyle Walker, John Stones, Angelino and Sergio Aguero dropping to the bench, while David Silva is replaced due to injury.

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Bernardo Silva moves back into midfield due to the skipper’s absence, on what is his 50th appearance in European competition.

At the other end of the spectrum is Tommy Doyle, who is included in a Champions League squad for the first time after making his debut in the Carabao Cup last week.

City team

Starting XIEderson, Cancelo, Fernandinho (c), Otamendi, Mendy, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Mahrez, Jesus.

Subs: Bravo, Walker, Stones, Aguero, Angelino, Garcia, Doyle.

Atalanta team

Starting XI: Gollini, Toloi, Djimsiti, Palomino, Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Castagne, Pasalic, Ilicic, Gomez.

Subs: Kjaer, Masiello, Muriel, Arana Lopes, Malinovskiy, Sportiello, Barrow.


As always, City will line up in a 4-3-3 formation and with the players selected, there should be no surprises in terms of positions when kick-off comes.

Fernandinho and Otamendi will be protectors in chief at central defence, with the attack minded full-back duo of Cancelo and Mendy getting forward to add extra numbers in the final third.

Ilkay Gundogan will again be the deepest lying midfielder, a role he continues to excel in, with Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo pulling the strings just ahead of him.

In the front three, Mahrez will take up his usual position on the right flank, with Sterling on the other and Jesus through the middle.

Pep's pre-match thoughts

“We cannot deny we have a lot of [injury] problems, but it is what it is. We would like to have all the squad.

"The last weeks and months we have had these problems and we move forward. With the players we have we trust a lot.

"After the first season, if I didn’t trust the players would not be here. All the players are here because I trust them, I know them and I am delighted to be with them.”

Last time



  • We have won 10 of our past 12 Champions League games (W10, D1, L1), and have won all three this season. No team has ever failed to progress from the Champions League group stage after winning their first three games.
  • Raheem Sterling has been involved in 13 goals in his past 10 appearances in the Champions League (nine goals, four assists), although only one of those goal involvements was in an away game (one goal at Schalke in February).
  • Sterling and Riyad Mahrez have combined to create seven chances for each other in this season's Champions League. Only Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at Barcelona have combined more (nine).
  • Sergio Aguero has found the net in each of his last five Champions League away matches in the group stages for City, a run which stretches back to September 2017.


  • Five days after shipping five goals at City, Atalanta equalled their biggest ever win in Serie A with a 7-1 victory over Udinese, matching their scoreline against Triestina in June 1952.
  • On Sunday, Atalanta failed to score for the first time in Serie A this season, going down 2-0 at home to Cagliari – their third home loss of the season in all competitions (W2 D1). Iličić was sent off in the 39th minute, shortly after Mario Pašalić had opened the scoring for the visitors with an own goal.
  • Atalanta still have the best attack in Serie A with 30 goals from 11 games. They had scored two or more goals in every league match before the weekend, and had found the net in 16 successive Serie A games.
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