Men's Team

Three changes for City – Stones starts

Three changes for City – Stones starts
City make three changes from the side that beat Burnley at the weekend.

John Stones is recalled, along with Bernardo and Riyad Mahrez who all sat out the victory at Turf Moor.

Making way are Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and  the suspended Kyle Walker.

Line-ups:

City: Ederson, Cancelo, Ake, Stones, Laporte, Rodrigo, Gundogan (c), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Jesus, Grealish, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Foden, Egan-Riley, Mbete

Atleti: Oblak, Vrsaljko, Savic, Felipe, Mandava, Lodi dos Santos, Llorente, Kondogbia, Koke, Griezmann, Joao Felix

Substitutes: Lecomte, de Paul, Suárez, Correa, Lemar, Wass, Santos Carneiro Da Cunha, Hermoso, Serrano Martínez, Gómez, Cámara Silva

Probable formation: 4-3-3

We may not know how our back four is lining up until the game begins.

Will Nathan Ake partner Aymeric Laporte in central defence? If so, John Stones will slot in at right-back.

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Or could Ake play at left-back and Stones partner Laporte? It’s impossible to say as both Ake and Stones are comfortable in the full-back roles, but we will know soon enough.

What we do know is Rodrigo will anchor the three-man midfield that includes Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne.

Bernardo could possibly get the false nine role this evening, with Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez on either flank.

Not an easy team to second-guess – which is probably exacty what Pep Guardiola wants!

City’s Fantastic Four

Talk about games that shape your season – you wait for several months and then, like buses, four come along in succession.

Make no mistake, with a sequence of Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool again, we will have a much clearer picture of our chances of winning silverware at the end of this intense 12-day period.

Such is the quality of the opposition, only a City team firing on all cylinders will emerge with hopes of three trophies still intact.

But is there a better group of players and manager out there who could take on the mammoth task that lies ahead?

The Blues will look to take a lead of some sort over to Madrid next week, before focusing on Liverpool on Sunday.

Then, the idea will be to complete the task against Diego Simeone’s men and, if things have gone as we hope, go for broke against Jurgen Klopp’s men in the FA Cup semi-final a week on Saturday.

It will be nail-biting, thrilling and maybe even difficult to watch (depending on how your nerves are) – but what a privilege it is to be fighting out with the very best to ensure all the hard work that has gone before is rewarded with silverware.

Stats

City had won ten consecutive home games in the UEFA Champions League prior to last month's goalless draw against Sporting.

The Blues are unbeaten in 17 European matches at the Etihad Stadium and have also won our last three meetings with Spanish opposition.

City are unbeaten in the last 17 UEFA Champions League matches in Manchester (W15 D2) since a 2-1 loss against Lyon on Matchday 1 in 2018/19.

While City have never faced Atlético in a competitive fixture until now, the teams did meet in a friendly in Spain in March 1995, drawing 1-1.

Scott Carson's substitute appearance in the round of 16 second leg against Sporting was just his second in the UEFA Champions League and came almost 17 years after his first, for Liverpool against Juventus in the quarter-final first leg on 5 April 2005.

Fernandinho made his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, on Matchday 8; he was the 44th player to reach a century of games in the competition.

Having drawn 0-0 at home to Sporting CP in the round of 16 second leg, City were held by the same scoreline at Crystal Palace on 14 March, the first time since October they had failed to score in successive matches, when Palace were also their second opponents.

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