As this week welcomes the return of Champions League football for Pep Guardiola’s City, attentions have turned to Wednesday night’s Group C opener against Shakhtar Donetsk.

With the squad having arrived in Ukraine, the press have been analysing potential starting XIs and possible rotations, whilst also casting score predictions.

Some have even looked further ahead, examining our chances of lifting the trophy…

READ: Shakhtar Donetsk v City | Travelling squad

WATCH: Rodri calls for calm

GALLERY: Plane sailing for the squad

Match previews and predictions

Daily Mail: Pep Guardiola looks to shore up defence by handing Fernandinho first start of the season at centre back against Shakhtar Donetsk

Jack Gaughan: "Fernandinho, now viewed as permanent central defensive cover, is likely to make his first start of the season against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

"Cancelo, the most expensive right back in world football, is set for a full debut against the Ukrainian league leaders.

“City spent £60million on signing Cancelo from Juventus in a deal that saw Danilo go the other way for £34m.

“The Portugal international has had to wait for his chance, playing just a minute so far this term, but is expected to be given the nod ahead of Walker on Wednesday."

WATCH: Cancelo reveals Bernardo’s influence in City move

Sky Sports: Charlie Nicholas' Champions League and Europa League predictions

Charlie Nicholas: “Manchester City found this one difficult last season. Shakhtar have always brought in a bit of pedigree but that is getting less and less as the years progress.

“City will be badly winded after the Norwich game. Aymeric Laporte is a massive miss for them.

“This will be a comfortable win to get the Premier League champions back on track.


Sporting Life: Soccer Saturday pundits pick their Champions League winners & discuss Premier League teams' prospects

Matt Le Tissier: "I think Manchester City will be one of the favourites for the competition, given what they have achieved in the Premier League over the last two seasons.

“You sometimes just need luck to progress into the final stages and they haven’t had that. They are too good of a side not to get to the final, and win it at some stage.

“I think we might be entering a phase of another country dominating, and I see this being the time for the English sides to reign supreme. It will only be a matter of time before Manchester City win it.”

WATCH: Rodri calls for calm despite Norwich loss

Phil Thompson: “The expectation will weigh heavily on Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.

“I think Guardiola would like it before he moves on to his next challenge, and the players have had a taste of it too. You have to have the heartbreak before you taste success.

“They have got close, but not close enough, so they could go further. They have the squad and have two teams which could play in the Champions League itself!

“I would like to think Manchester City and Liverpool will be there.”

Goal: Liverpool & Man City are favourites to win the Champions League – Hamann

Dietmar Hamann (speaking to SID): "I think that City and Liverpool will set the standard."

View from the opposition

Sky Sports: Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are behind Manchester City

Jurgen Klopp: “We cannot be the best team in Europe because Manchester City are the best team in the world - and that is the same planet I've heard.

"There are a lot of good teams out there and you have to prove that [you are up there with the best] constantly.

"Last year, we were really good. I'm not sure we were the best team in Europe, but we were really good in the right moments and that's why we won the Champions League."

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