Men's Team

City make four changes for trip to Paris Saint-Germain

City make four changes for trip to Paris Saint-Germain
Manchester City make four changes for tonight’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at Paris Saint-Germain.

Ederson, John Stones, Rodrigo and Bernardo Silva all return to the starting line up from the side that beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley on Sunday to retain the Carabao Cup.

As expected Ederson replaces Zack Steffen in goal while John Stones is back from suspension in central defence. Rodrigo - making his 100th appearance for the Club - is handed the anchor role in midfield with Bernardo also restored to the starting line-up in midfield.

Steffen, Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling all revert to the bench after starting at Wembley.

TEAMS

CITY: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne ©, Bernardo, Foden, Mahrez

SUBS: Steffen, Trafford, Ake, Sterling, Jesus, Aguero, Zinchenko, Laporte, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Garcia

PSG: Navas, Florenzi, Marquinhos (c), Kimpembe, Bakker, Gueye, Paredes, Di Maria, Verratti, Neymar, Mbappe

SUBS: Rico, Kehrer, Icardi, Rafinha, Danilo, Kean, Sarabia, Kurzawa, Herrera, Diallo, Draxler, Dagba

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FORMATION

It looks as though Guardiola will opt to deploy his preferred 4-3-3 formation, with the main topic of debate revolving around who will be the striking focal point.

As expected, Ederson returns in goal with Kyle Walker and Cancelo occupying the right and left-back berths respectively and Ruben Dias and Stones deployed at centre-half.

Returned to the starting line-up Rodrigo is set to once again sit deepest in midfield providing the defensive anchor, behind Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva.

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That should see Phil Foden, De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez deployed further forward with De Bruyne potentially deployed as a false nine though such is City’s fluidity a number of other candidates could also form the striking focal point.

As always, we'll have to wait until kick-off to find out exactly how we shape up tactically at the Parc des Princes this evening.

FINAL PUSH

It’s only City’s second Champions League semi-final and in a season packed with memorable moments, we’ll be seeking to achieve another notable first by reaching the next month’s showpiece final.

With the Carabao Cup already in the bag and Pep Guardiola’s side just five points away from regaining the Premier League title, City will step out in the French capital brimming with confidence.

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However, there’s no doubting the magnitude of the task awaiting us tonight with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Marquinhos amongst the star-studded hosts’ squad.

With manager Pep Guardiola pitting his wits against PSG counterpart and former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, the scene is set for a truly memorable occasion.

STATS AND FACTS

• Paris Saint-Germain are winless in their previous three matches with Manchester City in European competition (D2 L1), only facing Arsenal (4), AC Milan (4) and Juventus (8) on more occasions without ever winning in their history.

• City eliminated Paris Saint-Germain in their only previous knockout tie meeting in European football, progressing 3-2 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 2015-16, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring the winner in the second leg at the Etihad.

• City are playing in only their fourth semi-final in their European history after the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969-70 and 1970-71, and 2015-16 UEFA Champions League – they’ve only gone on to reach the final once, winning their only European trophy to date in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.

• Paris Saint-Germain are just the third French team to reach the semi-finals of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League in consecutive seasons, after St Etienne in 1975 and 1976 and Olympique de Marseille in 1990 and 1991.

• Paris Saint-Germain are looking to reach their second consecutive UEFA Champions League final, following their defeat to Bayern Munich in last year’s showpiece. They would be only the ninth side to do so in back-to-back campaigns, while only Atlético de Madrid and Valencia CF failed to lift the trophy in either of their first two final appearances.

• Manchester City have won nine of their 10 UEFA Champions League games this season (D1), two more than any of the other three semi-finalists (Chelsea, 7). No English side has ever won 10+ games in the same campaign under the current format (since 2003-04), whilst Real Madrid in 2011-12 are the only one of the five sides to win as many in a single campaign without going on to lift the trophy.

Pep Guardiola is set to take charge of his eighth UEFA Champions League semi-final tie, the joint-most of all managers alongside José Mourinho. Indeed, no Spanish manager has reached the final on more than two occasions, though Guardiola hasn’t seen his side play in the final since 2010-11 (Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United).

• Kevin De Bruyne has had a direct hand in eight goals in his last seven UEFA Champions League appearances in the knockout stages (4 goals, 4 assists), whilst he scored in both legs of Manchester City’s quarter-final tie with Paris SG in 2015-16. Only three players have scored in three games in a row vs the French side in the competition – Lionel Messi, Marcus Rashford (3 each) and Neymar (4).

Pep Guardiola has only beaten three other managers more often during his career than PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino (P18 W10 D5 L3), though Pochettino’s Spurs side did eliminate Guardiola’s City during their only European meeting to date in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals (4-4 on aggregate, progressing on away goals).

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