Mens Team

Seven changes for Porto clash

ALL SMILES: Foden embraces Sterling after the skipper's wonderful assist.
City make seven changes from the side that started against Burnley at the weekend.

In come Fernandinho, Oleks Zinchenko, Eric Garcia, Phil Foden, Bernardo, Raheem Sterling and Joao Cancelo.

John Stones, Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne drop to the bench.

Nathan Ake is also named on the bench after recovering from a muscle injury.

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Line-ups:

City: Ederson, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Dias, Garcia, Rodrigo, Fernandinho (c), Foden, Bernardo, Torres, Sterling

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Gundogan, Jesus, Laporte, De Bruyne, Mendy, Mahrez, Doyle

Porto: Marchesín, Manafá Jancó, Mbemba, Sarr, Monteiro Pinto Leite, Sanusi, Corona, Uribe, Oliveira, Otávio, Marega

Subs: Díaz, Taremi, Nakajima, Marais Ramos, Silva Baró, Neto Lopes, Felipe Anderson, Martínez, de Lima Barbosa, Chipela Gomes, Vieira, Meireles Costa

Formation and tactics

It will be interesting to see how City line-up this evening, with the formation not obviously clear on paper.

With Fernandinho and Rodrigo selected, there is a chance City will operate with two holding midfielders – but that seems unlikely.

Ferna may be given a rare, advanced role in a midfield trio that is likely to include Foden with Ferran Torres and Bernardo alongside Raheem Sterling in attack.

Or could Bernardo get a more central role with Foden operating on the flank? We shall have to wait and see.

In summary, it could be 4-2-1-3, but is more likely to be 4-3-3.

Result matters most

City can go to Porto knowing that a draw will guarantee top spot in Group C.

Porto have won all their games since losing 3-1 to City in the opening group match and also look likely to qualify for the next phase.

The Portuguese will confirm passage for the Round of 16 if they win or draw tonight’s game as Olympiakos can only reach nine points if they win their remaining two games – one of which is against Porto.

With that in mind, it seems unlikely Porto will take too many risks – but if they were to beat City by more than two goals, they would be in pole position to win the group.

So, plenty at stake and Olympiakos are certainly not out of contention for the runners-up spot – but they will need a favour from City tonight.

Stats & Facts

A point will see City top Group C.

Porto have lost their three previous meetings with Manchester City by an aggregate score of 9-2.

Porto are winless in their last five meetings with English teams in the Champions League (D1 L4), with their last such victory coming against Leicester City back in December 2016 (5-0).

City have only lost one of their previous seven games against Portuguese opponents in European competition (W5 D1).

Porto have won six of their last seven home games in the Champions League (L1), however the lone defeat in this run did come against another English opponent (1-4 v Liverpool in April 2019).

Guardiola's side have already kept more clean sheets in the competition this season (three) than they did in nine games last season (two).

Porto have scored with 25.8% of their shot attempts in the Champions League this season (8/31) - only Borussia Monchengladbach have a higher shot conversion rate.

Sergio Oliveira has scored in each of his last three Champions League appearances for Porto; the longest streak by a Portuguese player for the club since Ze Carlos in November 1993, who netted in four in a row.

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