By 90Min
September 15, 2019

The Champions League returns in midweek, with Manchester City opening their campaign on Wednesday with a match at Shakhtar Donetsk's Metallist Stadium.

Pep Guardiola watched Norwich City rip his defence to shreds on Saturday evening as the Canaries secured a 3-2 victory over the English giants. First-choice centre-back Aymeric Laporte is expected to miss over five months of the season with a knee injury, the Frenchman's teammates looking lost without him.

Paul Harding/GettyImages

Shakhtar are nine points clear at the top of their domestic league after seven rounds of fixtures, the holders winning a thriller 4-3 against Zorya over the weekend.

Check out 90min's preview of the Group C encounter.


Where to Watch

When is Kick Off? Wednesday 18 September
What Time is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST)
Where is it Played? Metalist Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport 3
Referee? Felix Zwayer

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams' official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.


Team News

As mentioned, Laporte will be absent until the new year following a collision with Brighton's Adam Webster. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi were given the nod at Carrow Road and Guardiola is likely to stick with the duo, though he could turn to Fernandinho.

Leroy Sane is the only other member of the City squad out injured. The winger is also out for the long-term after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament during the Community Shield victory over Liverpool in early August.

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

The Ukrainians must cope with the loss of four midfielders as Maycon, Andrii Totovytskyi, Maksym Malyshev and Oleksandr Pikhalionk all nurse injuries.

Coach Luis Castro is likewise without the services of defender Davit Khocholava, who has a shoulder problem.


Potential Lineups

Shakhtar Donetsk Pyatov; Bolbat, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Ismaily; Stepanenko, Patrick; Tete, Marlos, Taison; Moraes.
Manchester City Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Rodri, De Bruyne, Gundogan; Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus.

Head to Head Record

For a third consecutive season, the Citizens will do battle with Shakhtar in the group stages of the Champions League, with their clashes during 2017/18 and 2018/19 representing the only four times the two clubs have met.

The Sky Blues have been triumphant in three of those, winning both of their matches last term as they racked up nine goals against the Miners.

A faultless performance in Kharkiv saw the Premier League side earn a 3-0 victory, but the return fixture was even more one-sided, Gabriel Jesus grabbing his first hat-trick for the club in a 6-0 drubbing.

David Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling were also on target to help seal the Citizens' safe passage into the knockouts.


Recent Form

City were stripped of their undefeated status for 2019/20 by a blistering display from Norwich at Carrow Road. The visitors' backline simply could not handle the pace, movement and determination of Teemu Pukki and friends up top.

The loss shows Guardiola's recruits are vulnerable, especially when they have a key component of the team - like Laporte - wrenched out of the lineup. 

Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Shakhtar have the kind of attack that can deal serious damage to the depleted City defence, as shown by their free-scoring form in the Ukrainian Premier League.

They've won every fixture they've played in this year, collecting at least four goals in three of their last four matches. Junior Moraes and Taison have both been electric in recent weeks and could prove troublesome for Otamendi and Stones this Wednesday.

Here's how the pair have performed in their last five games:


Shakhtar Donetsk Manchester City
Lviv 0-2 Shakhtar Donetsk (18/8) West Ham United 0-5 Manchester City (10/8)
Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 Mariupoi (25/8) Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (17/8)
Olimpik Donetsk 0-4 Shakhtar Donetsk (01/9) Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester City (25/8)
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Kolos (05/9) Manchester City 4-0 Brighton (31/8)
Shakhtar Donetsk 4-3 Zorya (14/9) Norwich City 3-2 Manchester City (14/9)


Prediction

Shakhtar will be all too aware of what occurred on Saturday and will see it as an opportunity to put City to the sword. Unfortunately for them, Guardiola will make sure it was only a blip, rather than the start of a slump.

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Another professional performance is essential for the Citizens if they are to get a result from an awkward away trip. They will need to recreate what they did on their last visit to the Metallist Stadium, and will be confident of doing so.

Prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-2 Manchester City

You May Like