Men's Team

Sterling and Mahrez start as City make two changes

Sterling and Mahrez start as City make two changes
Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez are recalled to City’s starting XI for our Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus drop to the bench as Pep Guardiola freshens up his front three but keeps the same defence and midfield that kept Chelsea at bay on Saturday.



City: Ederson, Walker, Cancelo, Dias (c), Laporte, Rodrigo, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Sterling, Grealish, Mahrez

Substitutes: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Ake, Jesus, Torres, Fernandinho, Foden, McAtee, Wilson-Esbrand

PSG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes, Herrera, Verratti, Gueye, Mbappe, Neymar, Messi

Formation and possible tactics

It’s hard to see City changing the 4-3-3 formation that has proved so successful at home and abroad for this clash.

Despite the stellar frontline PSG have, Pep will believe that Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte are more than capable of restricting the hosts, with Kyle Walker’s pace crucial against the rapid Kylian Mbappe.


Rodrigo will need to replicate the outstanding display against Chelsea and shore the midfield up with a mixture of discipline and intelligence.

Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus will have filled Dias and Laporte in on facing Neymar again.

Another stern test

Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes is undoubtedly a tough test for any side but coming on the back of gruelling clash with Chelsea at the weekend, it’s an even more daunting task.

Whether Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi all start will be revealed when the team-sheets are announced – but even one or two out of the three is a handful for any defence.

City’s back four will need to deal with pace, superb technical ability and movement and the vision of perhaps the greatest modern day footballer of all time.

Whatever happens in Paris, City will have a return game to come against the Parisians – it is what happens in the matches in-between that will likely settle this group.

PSG surprisingly dropped two points away to Club Brugge in Matchday 1 – they won’t want City to pen up a five-point advantage two games into the group stage.

Our defenders know what to expect, and if they can repeat the commanding performance we saw at Stamford Bridge, City’s unbeaten record against PSG could continue.

Current form

PSG have won all eight of their Ligue 1 fixtures this season and sit 10 points clear at the top of the table.

Including the 1-1 draw with Club Brugge, they have only managed to keep three clean sheets in nine matches, scoring 23 goals.

Messi is yet to score for his new club, but has scored more Champions League goals against Pep Guardiola than any other player with a total of six – including four against City while Pep has been in charge.

Ederson makes his 200th appearance for City this evening...

Stats and facts

  • City won 2-1 in Paris and 2-0 in Manchester in last season's semi-final, making it three successive victories against their French opponents; indeed, City are unbeaten in their five matches with Paris (W3 D2).
  • While City kicked off Group A with an eventful 6-3 victory at home to Leipzig – their 50th UEFA Champions League win, group stage to final – Paris were held 1-1 at Club Brugge.
  • City reached their first UEFA Champions League final last season with a 4-1 aggregate success against Paris, who struck first in the semi-final first leg at the Parc des Princes on 28 April through Marquinhos (15). Kevin De Bruyne levelled four minutes past the hour before Riyad Mahrez gave City the advantage, Paris ending with ten men after Idrissa Gueye was sent off for a foul on İlkay Gündoğan.
  • Two more Mahrez goals (11, 63) made sure of City's aggregate win in Manchester on 4 May, and again Paris ended a man short as Ángel Di María was dismissed after tangling with Fernandinho.
  • City's first UEFA Champions League semi-final was secured with a win against Paris in the 2015/16 quarter-finals. The first leg at the Parc des Princes finished 2-2, De Bruyne's 38th-minute opener for City overturned by goals from Zlatan Ibrahimović (41) and Adrien Rabiot (59) before Fernandinho's equaliser 18 minutes from time.
  • De Bruyne got the only goal in the 76th minute in Manchester as Manuel Pellegrini's side prevailed against a Paris side coached by Laurent Blanc.
  • De Bruyne and Fernandinho played in both games for City, as did Di María for Paris. Layvin Kurzawa was an unused Paris substitute in both matches, with Marquinhos on the bench in France before playing 90 minutes in England, where Presnel Kimpembe was an unused replacement.
  • Paul Le Guen's Paris earned a goalless draw against a Manchester City side managed by Mark Hughes at the City of Manchester Stadium in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage – City's first match against a French club. City finished first in Group A with Paris third, both sides progressing to the round of 32. Both eventually lost in the quarter-finals, City going down 4-3 on aggregate to Hamburg while Paris were beaten 3-0 over two legs by Dynamo Kyiv.