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Preview: City to play against Atalanta in the Champions League

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21 Oct 2019
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Manchester City defenders, Kyle Walker and Nicolas Otamendi are both back in training ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League Group C clash with Atalanta at the Etihad Stadium.


Manchester City and Atalanta have never met in European competition.

Atalanta is the fifth different Italian side that Man City has faced in UEFA European competition.

Walker missed Saturday’s Premier League win at Crystal Palace through illness. Otamendi also did not feature because of a knock sustained on international duty.

Fellow defender, John Stones will be in the pitch after being an unused substitute following his recovery from a thigh injury.  

Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane remain on the sidelines.

Duvan Zapata is a doubt with Atalanta’s leading scorer nursing a thigh injury he picked up over the international break.

If Zapata fails a late fitness test, Luis Muriel will probably lead the line.

Marten de Roon is pushing for a recall having been named among the substituted during Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Lazio.

Manchester City has won their opening two UEFA Champions’ League group stage matches this season and has progressed to the next round.

Atalanta is the first Italian side to lose their first two EUFA Champions League matches. The last team to lose their opening three in the competition was Otelul Galatu of Romania in 2011-12 who lost all six of their group stage games that season.

Atalanta is the 39th different team Pep Guardiola has faced in the UEFA Champions League. He has registered a win over 35 of the previous 38, failing only against Celtic, Chelsea and Liverpool.

To the predictions

Pep Guardiola made changes during the weekend and Manchester City still got the job done. They were not outstanding but the club took the hit to get the results of previous weeks out of their system.

The vulnerable side is that they do not have any center-backs, leaving Rodri and Fernandinho there for the Crystal Palace game.

Rodri could stroll it there and he has a bit of Virgil van Dijk in him. Nothing seems to rush or phase him and he performed very well. It was positive to see City register a clean sheet.

Raheem Sterling will feature in the match. You can take your pick out of Bernardo, David Silva or Riyad Mahrez while Gabriel Jesus is scoring.

He will probably make three or four changes again here but I expect them to win comfortably.

Jesus has responded when he hasn’t played, but so has Phil Foden. This can be the balance that gives him a starting place against Atalanta. It will be a comfortable night for City.




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