- Dillon Meehan
Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen Preview
Following a Manchester derby demolition victory on the weekend, Manchester City are back in Champions League action as they host Danish champions FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night, with kick-off at 8 pm (BST) – broadcast live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom.
Team News and Predicted XI
There weren’t many revelations during Pep Guardiola’s press conference this afternoon. Kyle Walker is out for an unknown amount of time after picking up an injury during Sunday’s Manchester derby.
"We will train this afternoon and know if Rodri is better. Kyle is out. We will see the training session."
Rodri was pictured in training on Tuesday afternoon after he missed the Manchester derby with a calf injury, and this will represent a welcome return for Guardiola, who is without Kalvin Phillips as he continues his recovery after shoulder surgery.
In recent weeks, Guardiola has stated that he is awaiting the return of Riyad Mahrez to his best form, with the Algeria captain yet to hit his lofty standards of seasons gone by. The Catalan was once again asked about the winger in his pre-match press conference:
"He knows it [what he needs to do]. I know perfectly Riyad. We need him to come back to his best and when he's the best - personality, ability, quality, his love for this game. Step by step he will come back. Now he's not playing much but he has to come back better physical condition. The rest I cannot teach him anything - he's too good."
Ederson, Cancelo, Akanji, Ake, Gomez, Gundogan, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Haaland, Foden
With Walker out, and Rodri’s match fitness being a question, I expect Guardiola to stay with a very similar lineup to the derby.
Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake have played well as of late and I expect Guardiola to reward them for their play. Aymeric Laporte may get the nod, but it may be too early to start.
There’s always a call from City fans to have the younger plays get minutes against lower Champions League sides. However, qualification hasn’t been secured just yet. It might have to wait for the return fixture against Copenhagen or either Dortmund or Sevilla for the likes of Cole Palmer to get significant minutes.
It’s been a rough start to the season for Copenhagen so far. Both their captain Zeca, and Akinkunmi Amoo, one of their most prominent signings, are both out with knee ligament injuries. After winning the Danish Superliga last season, they now sit 6th in the table and have conceded the fifth most goals in the league so far.
Following their disappointing start, Copenhagen have sacked and brought in a new manager in the last week, in an attempt to salvage their season.
During their Champions League run so far, the Danish side lost 3-0 away to Dortmund in their opening match and followed that up with a 0-0 draw at home against Sevilla.
Despite their issues, Guardiola is not letting any of that impact how his City side are preparing:
"Expectations is to handle the journalists and people who expect us to win. I'm not this type of manager [to undermine the opposition]. Never. Play against top teams or lower teams, [I] have a lot of respect. Last season in your country [Denmark] they were champions, and sometimes the next season [you] have to have moments [where] you struggle. For one game, everything can happen. Last night I watch them against [Borussia] Dortmund and today I saw them with their new manager and against Sevilla. I don't watch the table or the position, I watch who they are as a team. My staff help a lot to discover. In front of the players we see who we face. Champions League, I have too much respect. This won't be an exception tomorrow."
The only meetings between the two sides occurred 14 years ago in the UEFA Cup. The opening match of the tie ended in a 2-2 draw, with a Craig Bellamy brace giving City a 2-1 victory and a 4-3 win on aggregate in the second leg.
Referee: Donatas Rumšas
Assistants: Aleksandr Radius and Dovydas Sužiedėlis
Fourth Official: Manfredas Lukjančukas
VAR: Bastian Dankert
Assistant VAR: Willy Delajod
Written by: @IVIeehan
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