Everything You Need To Know: Manchester City vs FC Porto (Champions League)
The 20202/21 Champions League season will get underway for Manchester City on Wednesday night as they welcome FC Porto to the Etihad Stadium.
Last year's campaign ended in a disappointing defeat at the hands of Lyon, who beat City 3-1 in France. Porto, meanwhile, were knocked out of the Europa League last season in the round of 32 stage.
After fighting so hard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the right to play a part in this competition, Pep Guardiola's team will be hoping this game kick-starts a potentially historic European campaign for the Blues.
Striker Gabriel Jesus will be sidelined for another month or so with a thigh injury, as will the long-ailing Benjamin Mendy who is unfortunately injured again. Fellow French defender Aymeric Laporte picked up an injury not long before Manchester City's game with Arsenal at the weekend, but his is believed to be only minor - the 26-year-old will be out for another week or so at most.
Star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will also miss the next few games after getting injured on international duty with Belgium. Wednesday's game could, however, see the return of left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has reportedly returned to training.
Porto, on the other hand, have only one major absence for the game: centre-back Iván Marcano, who sustained a ruptured cruciate ligament back in July and remains sidelined.
Head to Head:
The pair have only met twice competitively - in the early knock-out stages of the UEFA Europa League in February 2012. Manchester City won 6-1 on aggregate, helped by a fantastic 4-0 win at the Etihad Stadium. Sergio Agüero scored after just 19 seconds in that game, before Edin Dzeko, David Silva, and a certain David Pizarro sealed the tie against a 10-man Porto side.
Pep Guardiola has faced Porto three times in his managerial career - two of which came in a Champions League tie that ended 6-4 to Bayern Munich on aggregate. The other was a European Super Cup match which saw Pep's Barcelona win 2-1.
Our Portuguese opponents have had a mixed start to the Liga NOS season - their first two games saw them win against Braga and Boavista, but they then lost to Marítimo 3-2 before drawing 2-2 with fellow giants Sporting Lisbon.
In European competition specifically, the Azuis e Brancos - or Blue and Whites - have lost three of their last four matches in the Champions League. They were knocked out by Liverpool in the 2019/20 season on the way to their sixth European title. Porto have only won one of their last seven games against English opposition.
Manchester City, meanwhile, have lost just one of their opening six games of the season and have just come off of a 1-0 win against Arsenal. The Blues are unbeaten in eight European matches at home - a run stretching back to matchday one of the 2018/19 Champions League, where Lyon came to the Etihad Stadium and won 2-1.
The referee for this game will be the Latvian official, Andris Treimanis. His assistants will be Haralds Gudermanis and Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs on the sidelines and Aleksandrs Golubevs as the fourth official - all of whom also hail from Latvia.
Dutchman Jochem Kamphuis and Kevin Blom will operate the VAR for the game.
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