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Kevin De Bruyne and Cole Palmer to Start, Ederson to Drop to the Bench! Predicted XI: RB Leipzig vs Man City (Champions League)

Manchester City will look to extend their winning run to eight consecutive matches when they travel to Germany on Tuesday to complete their latest Champions League Group Stage campaign.

A 2-1 win over Paris Saint Germain last month secured City’s place in the knock-out stages of the competition, as goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus ensured a fifth straight first place finish in the Group.

City also currently top the Premier League table, after a 3-1 win over Watford saw Guardiola’s side move one point ahead of Liverpool in second place.

Despite Tuesday’s result having no baring on City, RB Leipzig know that a win would likely guarantee them Europa League football in 2022, with the German club currently in third place, and level on points with Club Brugge.

The East German club are also looking to bounce back into form, after dismissing manager Jesse Marsch following a 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin on Friday. It was the German sides sixth loss of the season, with Leipzig currently 11th in the Bundesliga table.

Pep Guardiola welcomed back a number of players to the matchday squad at the weekend, and after revealing which players had travelled to the state of Saxony for the match, here is how predict Pep Guardiola to line up. 

Team News

Pep Guardiola will remain without Ferran Torres due to a foot injury, but has hinted at a possible start for Kevin De Bruyne on Tuesday. 

Gabriel Jesus will be unavailable for selection, after the Brazilian suffered an injury in Manchester City's win over Watford at the weekend.  

Five members of City's EDS squad, who were knocked out of the UEFA Youth League after a loss to PSG, will also travel with the first-team, Pep Guardiola has revealed. 

Joshua Wilson-Esbrand, CJ Egan-Riley, Romeo Lavia, Cole Palmer, and James McAtee are all set to travel with the first-team to Germany. 

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has handed Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, and Bernardo Silva much needed rests and all four players have not travelled with the squad to Germany.

Predicted Team

Ederson's wait for his 100th clean sheet for Manchester City will be prolonged, with Zack Steffen to start in goal on Tuesday evening. The 26 year-old, who recently signed a new contract with the club, is in line to make his second Champions League start. 

Ahead of the American, Kyle Walker will be the only defender from the win over Watford to keep his place in the team, with the Englishman set to start at right-back. 

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On the opposite flank, Oleksandr Zinchenko will return to left-back for his 15th Manchester City start in Europe, having started in central midfield for the win over PSG last month.

Since joining from Bournemouth in 2020, Nathan Ake has only made three starts in the Champions League. The Dutch centre-back played during the 6-3 win over Leipzig in September, and the defender can expect to be handed another start here. 

Alongside the 26 year-old will be John Stones, with the England defender playing for the first-time since suffering from illness following the 2-1 over PSG at the Etihad Stadium.

Fernandinho is set to make his 70th appearance in the Champions League for Manchester City, with the Brazilian replacing Rodri in defensive midfield at the RB Arena. 

Kevin De Bruyne came off the bench at the weekend, but the Belgian will make his first start since testing positive for Coronavirus on Tuesday. The game against Leipzig is the perfect opportunity for 30 year-old to try and return to match fitness. 

Accompanying De Bruyne is the midfield will be Ilkay Gundogan, with the German having returned to the starting eleven on Saturday after missing the win over Aston Villa due to an injury. 

Pep Guardiola opted for an all-English front three at the weekend, but only summer signing Jack Grealish is set to retain his place. Grealish has started four of City's five matches in Europe so far, and scored against Leipzig at the Etihad in September. The 26 year-old can expect to start in his favoured wide role. 

On the opposite flank, Riyad Mahrez will look to continue his phenomenal recent goalscoring run in Europe, with the Algerian having scored four goals in the competition already this season. 

After a shock start against Everton in the Premier League in November, Cole Palmer could be handed the opportunity to make his first Manchester City start in Europe on Tuesday, with the teenager to lead in line in another fluid front three. 

Predicted XI: Zack Steffen; Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan; Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish, Cole Palmer. 

Substitutes: Ederson, Scott Carson, CJ Egan-Riley, Ruben Dias, Joshua Wilson-Esbrand, Romeo Lavia, James McAtee, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden.

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