Mens Team

Mendy returns as City make five changes

Mendy returns as City make five changes
City make five changes from the side that lost to Spurs at the weekend.

John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, Benjamin Mendy and Raheem Sterling all return to the starting XI.

Making way are Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker (both rested), plus Ferran Torres, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte.

Fernandinho makes a welcome return on the subs' bench, with Sterling taking on the skipper's armband.

Teams

City: Ederson, Cancelo, Mendy, Stones, Dias, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Foden, Bernardo, Jesus, Sterling (c)

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Aguero, Zinchenko, Laporte, Torres, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Garcia, Nmecha, Doyle, Palmer

Olympiakos: Malheiro de Sá, Borges Semedo, Ba, Cissé, Dräger, Camara, M'Vila, Ferreira de Souza, Figueiredo Rodrigues, Fortounis, Masouras

POSSIBLE FORMATION

Expect 4-3-3 formation with Cancelo at right-back and Mendy on the left.

Stones partners Ruben Dias in central defence, with Rodrigo anchoring the midfield trio alongside Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden.

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Bernardo is likely to join Jesus and Sterling in attack - though Foden may take one of the front three berths if Bernardo is handed a more central role in midfield.

City look to seal qualification

City need just a draw from this evening’s match to guarantee a spot in the Round of 16.

Pep Guardiola’s aim has been to secure a passage to the latter stages of the Champions League as quickly as possible and if this can be achieved with two games to spare, it will ease pressure on the squad ahead of a busy December schedule.

The luxury of resting tired legs next month will not be an option for every manager, so would be a definite advantage.

City beat the Greek side 3-0 at the Etihad at the start of the month, with Torres, Cancelo and Jesus on the scoresheet.

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Stats and facts

• This will be our first away game against a Greek opponent since February 2011, when we drew 0-0 with Aris in the UEFA Europa League under Roberto Mancini.
• We are looking to win our opening four group stage games in a UEFA Champions League campaign for the second time under Pep Guardiola, having previously done so back in 2017-18.
• We have won our last two UEFA Champions League games without conceding a goal - excluding qualifiers, only once previously have we won three in a row without conceding in major European competition (in 1969-70 in the Cup Winners' Cup).
• We have the highest passes per sequence average (6.2) of any team in the UEFA Champions League this season. Indeed, the goal with the most passes in the build-up this term was scored by Pep Guardiola's side against Marseille last month (26 passes for Raheem Sterling's goal).
• Ferran Torres has scored in each of his first three UEFA Champions League appearances for Manchester City, and could become only the third player to score in four consecutive games for the club in the competition, after Sergio Agüero (in March 2019) and Raheem Sterling (in November 2017).
• Kevin de Bruyne has made four assists in two UEFA Champions League appearances this season - this is already his highest tally in a single season in the competition, with three group stage games still to be played.
• We have scored 44 goals in our last 16 UEFA Champions League matches; over the last two seasons our record is W16 D3 L3 with 60 goals scored and 22 conceded.
• We have won eight of our last 12 away European matches (D2 L2), both defeats coming in England; the last away game we lost abroad was at Shakhtar Donetsk (1-2) on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
Guardiola's Bayern Munich defeated Olympiakos twice (3-0 in Piraeus and 4-0 at home) in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage.

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