Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Sevilla vs Manchester City Preview
It's back again. Will this year be any different from previous seasons? Manchester City travel to Sevilla to kick off another Champions League campaign on Tuesday night, in which they aim to lift the trophy for the first time in their history after multiple close calls and heartbreaking exits. The game kicks off at 8 pm (BST) and will be broadcast live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom.
There's a famous phrase that goes, 'it's the hope that kills you' and that's the reason many City fans don't look forward to the Champions League, because year after year, City make it to the latter stages of the competition and for one reason or another, fail to lift the trophy, despite being one of the best sides in the world each season.
With the introduction of probably the most talked about footballer in the country right now, Erling Haaland - is there more reason for City fans to be lured into the magic of Europe's elite competition?
The Norwegian already boasts 10 Premier League goals this season, after he hit double figures in just six games, netting his tenth against Aston Villa last Saturday in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
Haaland is quickly becoming one of the most lethal strikers ever, and that includes in the Champions League, as he smashed the record for the quickest player to score 20 goals in the competition, doing so in just 14 appearances, for RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund. He now has a total of 23 goals in 19 Champions League games.
Team News and Predicted XI
Haaland may have potentially had 11 Premier League goals if Kyle Walker passed it to him early on against Villa, but any chance of that scenario happening again will be avoided as the English defender has not travelled with the City squad to face the Spanish side due to an injury concern.
Fellow Yorkshireman John Stones has also stayed in England despite training on Monday; Pep Guardiola has had to leave the centre-back behind due to injury. However, Manuel Akanji, City's final signing of the summer window, travels with the squad after only joining the club on deadline day last Thursday.
"Injured, both are injured. We are lucky the club give me Manuel Akanji otherwise we [would] be in real trouble... John is not much [injury seriousness]. Kyle is not much too, but I don't know if he will be ready for Saturday, or Dortmund or Wolves before the international break. Yes [muscular issue]."
Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips also make the 21-man travelling squad, with youngsters Rico Lewis and Josh Wilson-Esbrand also making the trip.
With Julian Alvarez rested for the full 90 minutes over the weekend, is he likely to start in the front three? Despite concerns with Haaland's injury record and fitness levels, you could argue he is undroppable at the moment. The main question with Guardiola's rotation this week is the defence; with Walker and Stones absent, who will be the right-sided pairing?
Will Sergio Gomez make his first start? Will we see Joao Cancelo at right back for the first time in months? And who will partner Ruben Dias at the back? Guardiola seemed to like Nathan Ake and the Portuguese international in partnership at the start of the season until the Dutchman got injured, or will Akanji be thrown straight into the mix?
Here's what we think:
Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Gomez, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden, Haaland, Alvarez
League Position: 17th
Top Scorer: Oliver Torres, Rafa Mir, Karim Rekik (1)
Previous Result: L 0-3 vs Barcelona (H)
Sevilla, who have had recent success in Europe, winning the Europa League in 19/20, are struggling to find form so far this season. They've only scored three goals in their first four games in La Liga, losing three of them, most recently 3-0 to Guardiola's former side, Barcelona, and drawing one. It's a real turn of events after they went unbeaten in their final six games last season.
Rodri on Sevilla:
"They have a great manager - he works really well - and Sevilla have great players, it’s true a few players have left but they are always a competitive team, especially at home. They will be attacking all the time."
"It is true they have not collected the results they wanted in La Liga but I saw their match against Barcelona and they played well. At home, they can hurt you. We will be on high alert because we know it will be a very demanding game. Sevilla have a great squad and we will have to be good to beat them."
The Blues have only ever faced Sevilla twice, and it was the season before Guardiola became the City manager. City ended both games as the winner, winning the first encounter 2-1, and two weeks later, winning the second meeting 3-1.
Referee: Davide Massa
Assistants: Filippo Meli & Stefano Alassio
Fourth Official: Simone Sozza
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati
Assistant VAR: Marco Guida