Men's Team

Five City changes for FC Copenhagen clash

Five City changes for FC Copenhagen clash
Pep Guardiola has made five changes to the City side for tonight’s UEFA Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen.

The Blues are back in action at the Etihad Stadium just three days after the derby demolition of Manchester United, and Guardiola has opted for a fresh lineup this evening.

Riyad Mahrez will make his 200th City appearance while Ruben Dias wears City colours for the 100th time.

Dias and Aymeric Laporte come into the centre of defence in place of Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji, with Laporte making his first start of the campaign after surgery on his knee in the summer.

Sergio Gomez will be hoping to take his impressive second half performance on Sunday from left-back.

The Spaniard was a replacement for the injured Kyle Walker, who sits out tonight.

Match preview | City v Copenhagen

Further forward, Mahrez and Julian Alvarez replace Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden.

Rodrigo returns to the bench having missed the Manchester derby.

Teams

CITY XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Gomez, Gundogan, Bernardo, Grealish, Mahrez, Alvarez, Haaland

Subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Akanji, Foden, Palmer, Lewis, Wilson-Esbrand

FC Copenhagen: Grabara, Diks, Vavro, Khocholava, Claesson, Johannesson, Lerager, Daramy, Karamoko, Kristiansen, Stamenic

Subs: Johnsson, Ryan, Sorensen, Babacar, Cornelius, Mukairu, Jelert, Ankersen, Lund, Haraldsson, Roony

Tactics

We're expected to line up in our usual 4-3-3 again this evening.

Ederson will be protected by familiar faces in Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte, although it is the first time the duo have played together this year.

Joao Cancelo switches over to the right, where he has featured many times in his career, because of the enforced absence of Kyle Walker.

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Having been crucial in an attacking sense on Sunday, Sergio Gomez will again be aiming to get up and down the left wing.

Ilkay Gundogan will be the deepest midfielder, with Bernardo Silva also in a central role.

Jack Grealish is likely to be more central than has recently been the case and Alvarez coming in from that high left position our No.10 has made his own in recent weeks. However, as always with a Pep Guardiola side, expect those players to be fluid in and out of possession.

Riyad Mahrez will be on the right wing while Erling Haaland will give that focal point up top.

Pep Guardiola preview

“It is not easy to get the result against Sevilla. Sevilla struggled to break them,” the boss reflected in his pre-match press conference.

“I know the quality they have. They don’t just play long balls up to the striker, they have the ability to play, and the courage to play. They have many things. I am surprised how many things they do so well.

“My expectations are more humble than the media who expect us to win. I am not this type of manager - never, ever. I have a lot of respect - they won the league last season.

“Sometimes the next season you can struggle a little but it happens in all leagues around the world. But in one game, anything can happen. I don’t watch the table, I watch the team.

Match Stats

Manchester City

  • This is City’s first UEFA Champions League match against Danish opponents. They have beaten teams from 14 of the 15 nations they’ve faced previously, failing only against Scottish sides (P2 D2).
  • Manchester City are unbeaten across their last 21 home matches in the UEFA Champions League (W19 D2), a run that started with a 6-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in November 2018. The last English side to go on a longer unbeaten run at home in the competition were Manchester United between 2005 and 2009 (23 games).
  • Manchester City have played 34 home group stage matches to date and have scored in each one – they are the only team to have played 10+ home games in the group stages without failing to score.
  • Erling Haaland has scored 26 goals in 21 appearances in the UEFA Champions League, scoring every 62 minutes on average, the best rate of any of the 60 players to have scored 20+ goals in the competition. The player with the second-best rate is Mario Gomez, who averages a goal every 102 minutes. Haaland has already equalled Gomez’s UEFA Champions League goal total of 26 despite playing over 1000 minutes fewer.

Copenhagen

  • FC København have only scored one goal in six UEFA Champions League matches against English opponents (W1 D2 L3), with that goal the winner from Marcus Allback in a 1-0 win over Manchester United in November 2006.
  • FC København have only won one of their previous 10 away games in the UEFA Champions League (D2 L7), beating Club Brugge in their final group stage game in 2016-17. The Danish side have netted just five goals across these 10 matches, while failing to score at all in six of them.
  • Three of FC København’s last five UEFA Champions League matches have finished goalless, including last time out against Sevilla. Overall, 18% of their games in competition have finished nil-nil (5/28), the highest percentage for any side with 25+ games played.
  • FC København goalkeeper Mathew Ryan played seven matches against Manchester City while with Arsenal and Brighton, conceding 21 goals at an average of three per game, his worst record against any side while playing in England.
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