clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Champions League Round 1: City vs Juventus

New, comments

Manchester City opens up a new European chapter starting with the Old Lady.

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

All Manchester City fans are probably sick of hearing it by now.

"But what have you done in Europe?"

In their short Champions League history, we can all say that City haven't done much. But that doesn't mean that it will remain the case for the foreseeable future. Entering the Etihad this Tuesday are Italian giants and 2015 Champions League runner ups in Juventus, and if this isn't the year where City have their best chance of winning their group, then perhaps the drawing board is where the team should start.

Manchester City and Juventus seem to be teams that are heading in two directions. City's only real threat seems to be staying fit, flying high in League play with six wins on the bounce with zero, yes zero goals conceded to begin the season. On the other end, Juventus have faltered out of the Serie A gates, struggling to muster a draw against Chievo and beginning their league campaign with a single point in three matches. The makeup of the teams are also a point of emphasis, Juventus has lost a good part of their spine while City have improved not only their spine, but adding muscle on their limbs, too.

But that doesn't mean that City should take Juve lightly. In fact, of all times to take them lightly, this isn't one of them. Juve always turn up against big clubs while seemingly falling asleep against the minnows in league play (sound familiar?), and the bright lights of European week days will surely give them a jolt of energy. The ever dangerous Paul Pogba will certainly try to menace the middle of the park, and while he's missing a few key players, look for him to try to link up with young Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic.

City will be without mercurial striker Kün Aguero, who will miss the weekday matchup with a knock to his knee suffered over the weekend. The hero from the Saturday match, Kelechi Iheanacho was not named to the City Champions League squad, leaving Wilfred Bony to start up top in his natural 9 position. Raheem Sterling and David Silva should also return to the squad after missing the match against Crystal Palace, and Kevin De Bruyne will likely start against the Bianconeri. Fernandinho and Yaya Toure are probable starters, even though Fernandinho picked up a slight knock on Saturday.

Historically, Juventus has struggled in Manchester in European competition. They haven't won in 6 matches against either the red or blue side, but that doesn't mean that City should expect the same result. They'll have to remain in form and play as a unit to come out victorious. And for the love of God and bias, please no 4-4-2.