City begin 11th consecutive Champions League campaign – Manchester City vs RB Leipzig Preview
For some, it may feel too soon to be thinking about the Champions League again after Manchester City's painful experience last May, let alone playing in it already, but the 21/22 campaign starts tomorrow live on BT Sport with kick-off at 20:00 BST.
The Etihad Stadium welcomes fans to a Champions League fixture for the first time in nearly two years, since the 26th November 2019, when City played out a 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Pep Guardiola's side welcome an RB Leipzig side under new management, as Jesse Marsch takes control of his first Champions League game as the German side's boss, and there isn't much more difficult opposition to face than the Sky Blues.
As always, Kevin De Bruyne and co. will be expected to advance from the group stages, despite being placed in a fairly difficult group, with Club Brugge, Wednesday's opposition RB Leipzig and none other than Lionel Messi's new side, Paris Saint-Germain.
City had a rocky start to the season, losing the Community Shield 1-0 to Leicester City and then losing on the opening weekend of the Premier League, 1-0 again, this time to Tottenham Hotspur. However, in the three games since then, they have won three games out of three, scoring eleven without reply.
Unfortunately for the Premier League champions, central defenders John Stones and Aymeric Laporte were not fully fit to take part in first-team training this afternoon, but the pair have not been ruled out of the fixture at this point – suggesting they could well still make the matchday squad. Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake were fit to train and could partner up in the heart of defence.
However, the side will be buoyed by the return of Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne, with the pair likely to get their first minutes back after injury, having made the squad for the trip to Leicester last Saturday.
All in all, everything seems to be settling back into place for City – even Bernardo Silva, who was heavily linked with a move away throughout the summer, is performing and rightfully receiving recognition for his professional and superb start to the season.
RB Leipzig have had a tough start to life under new management, Marsch's side have only managed to achieve three points from their opening four games and most recently suffered a humiliating 4-1 loss at their own ground to their former manager, Julian Nagelsmann and his Bayern Munich side.
Bayern rubbed salt into the wound against Leipzig, as their former captain Marcel Sabitzer made his debut for the reigning Bundesliga champions against his old team. The 27-year-old made the switch to Bayern this summer.
Despite City's lack of pure strikers, they still have severe goal threats all over the pitch, which will surely cause issues for Leipzig's defensive problems, the German side have only managed one clean sheet in four and have conceded six goals already this season.
City have never previously faced Leipzig – given that the Bundesliga side were only founded on May 19th 2009, they haven't had too many chances to face one another. So you can imagine this will be one for the history books in years to come.
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, ZInchenko; Rodri, Bernardo, Gundogan; Grealish, Torres, Sterling.
Score prediction: 3-0 (Torres, Grealish, Gundogan)
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Assistant Referees: Joost van Zuilen and Johan Balder (NED)
Fourth Official: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
Video Assistant Referee: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Stéphanie Frappart (FRA)
Written by: @DanGP17_
Follow our Twitter account for live updates.