• Tom Cayless

Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Manchester City vs Sevilla Preview

After a crucial win at Leicester's King Power Stadium over the weekend, Pep Guardiola's side host Spanish side Sevilla FC in a UEFA Champions League group-stage dead-rubber. City have already topped the group, while Sevilla has secured third place due to their head-to-head record against bottom side FC Copenhagen.

The game kicks off at 20:00 (GMT) and will be broadcasted live on BT Sport 3 for UK viewers.

 

Team News and Predicted XI


The boss provided a much-needed fitness update on Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips in his press conference. Guardiola confirmed the English duo will likely be available for England at the World Cup later this month, but the right-back's recovery hasn't been as quick as Phillips'.

"I'm impressed with how quick his [Walker] recovery has been been, but is still late compared to Kalvin's."
Photo courtesy of Michael Regan/Getty Images

He also confirmed his and City's plans for the World Cup.

"We will try [to go to Abu Dhabi], maybe in two, three weeks for these guys [who are not at the World Cup] in the winter in Manchester. Take a break, for the staff to go there. Good weather, our owners are there. We are going to do that.
"Maybe have a [friendly] game for the rhytmm. We come back to England and be ready as much as possible."

Despite these updates, the most significant news of the conference came when Guardiola updated the media and supporters on the fitness of striker Erling Haaland. The Norweigan is "still not 100 per cent" for tomorrow's game, and Catalan will not be risking him. However, it is hoped City's No.9 will be up for selection for the Blues' clash against Fulham at the weekend.

Cole Palmer is also available for selection, as confirmed by the boss.


As a result of City already topping the group with a 0-0 draw away at Dortmund last week, plenty of rotation can be expected within the side. Nobody would be surprised to see German goalkeeper Stefan Ortega coming back into the team in place of Ederson after his solid debut in Dortmund last week.

Regarding the defence, nothing would be a shock. Perhaps this game could prove to be a possible opening for the likes of Rico Lewis and Joshua Wilson-Esbrand, but it seems unlikely both will start. Nathan Ake didn't start at the weekend so he will almost certainly start. Ruben Dias also started on the bench at Leicester, so is likely to start along with summer signing Sergio Gomez. Manuel Akanji was not present in open training this afternoon after coming off with an apparent knock against Leicester.


In the midfield, this would be the type of game Phillips would have been expected to start. However, with his injury, and only recent return to training, Rodri is expected to line up in the holding role. The rest is harder to predict, with Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne all named in the starting eleven at the weekend. However, academy graduate Phil Foden was not, so he could appear in the middle three.


In the final third, Guardiola confirmed forward Julian Alvarez would be given another chance up front. Riyad Mahrez should play alongside him, with Foden or Cole Palmer holding down the other side.


Predicted XI:


Ortega, Lewis, Dias, Ake, Gomez, Rodri, Gundogan, Foden, Mahrez, Palmer, Alvarez

Photo courtesy of Lars Baron/Getty Images
 

Opposition


Giants within UEFA's second-tier competition, Jorge Sampaoli's Sevilla has struggled both domestically and in Europe. Usually one of the top sides in Spain, Los Nervionenses find themselves in 18th place in La Liga despite employing top talents such as goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, former City winger Jesus Navas, and Ivan Rakatic.

Starting in goal will be either Bounou or Marko Dmitrovic as Sampaoli has shown a tendency to rotate between the two. The same goes for the formation, with both a three or four being employed this season.


United loanee Alex Telles will likely start on the left with Gonzalo Montiel on the opposite flank. Nemanja Gudelj and former City defender Karim Rekik are probable starts in the middle, with Rakatic and Joan Jordan in front of the two.


Former City target Isco will almost certainly start with Erik Lamela, Jesus Navas, and Alejandro Gomez up for contention to play out-wide.


The Spanish side's form has improved of late, only losing two of their seven games, with one of them a 3-1 loss at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid. However, only two of those seven games have resulted in victory.

Photo courtesy of JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Image
 

Head-to-Head


Played: 3

Won: 3

Drawn: 0

Loss: 0


A rarity for City; they've only faced Sevilla three times, including the 4-0 victory at the Ramon-Sanchez Stadium this season, a game in which Haaland bagged his first European goals for the Blues and Swiss defender Akanji made his debut.


Prior to that, City matched up against Sevilla in 2015, once again in the UEFA Champions League group stage. The Blues didn't do it the easy way, in the home game at least, with a last-minute winner from De Bruyne earning City three valuable points in a Champions League campaign in which they reached the semi-finals for the first time.


In the away meeting, three first-half goals from Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho and Wilfried Bony were enough to travel back to Manchester with all three points, and qualification to the knock-out round.

 

Match Officials


Referee: Orel Grinfeld

Assistants: Roy Hassan and Idan Yarkoni

Fourth Official: Gal Leibovitz

VAR: Roi Reinshreiber

Assistant VAR: Paolo Valeri

Photo courtesy of OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
 

Written by: @TomCayless_


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