Life goes on for Manchester City after the weekend disappointment against Chelsea. City SHOULD have won that game, yet they ended up at the mercy of a spectacular team that is ready to win the Premier League.
Sometimes, the best thing after a tough loss it a game shortly after to help forget that experience. City have that on Tuesday night at Etihad Stadium, when they welcome Celtic FC for the last match of the UEFA Champions League group stage. On paper, this game doesn't matter. But it really does.
The points don't matter. Three points, one point, no points, it doesn't matter. It doesn't affect City's position in Group C (they're already second) and Celtic's European destiny is set (they won't play in the Europa League). What matters about this game is one thing, and one thing only: confidence. Losing to Chelsea despite a great performance hurts the players and Pep Guardiola, and they need a great performance with a victory against Celtic to maintain the trust that Pep Ball can work.
Can City do it?
MATCH INFO, HOW TO WATCH ONLINE/TV
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 6, 2016, 7:45pm local time (BST), 8:45pm CET (Europe), 2:45pm ET, 11:45am PT (US), 1:15am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: UEFA's City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, England
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
TV listings: Fox Sports 1 (US), BT Sport 3 (UK), TEN 1 (India), elsewhere
Online streaming: Fox Sports GO, FoxSoccer2GO, ESPN3, WatchESPN (US), beIN SPORTS CONNECT (Canada), BT Sport Live Streaming (UK), BBC Radio 5 Live (UK - Radio), TEN Sports LIVE (India), elsewhere
Man City: Vincent Kompany is injured, Yaya Touré is not in the squad, Fernandinho is suspended. These are the only problems Pep Guardiola has to deal with on Wednesday. Sergio Agüero will probably play his last match in the year 2016, either as a starter or as a substitute. Kun will be missed, but he was too stupid against Chelsea and a month out may help him.
Guardiola made it clear in his press conference that he will rotate the squad, and even Willy Caballero is expected to start. Youngsters Pablo Maffeo, Tosin Adarabioyo and Angeliño Tasende might get some valuable playing time, and along with Kelechi Iheanacho, they could give us a glimpse into the future. That's fun.
Celtic: Former City player Scott Sinclair misses out through injury, and that's all the problems for Brendan Rodgers. City loanee Patrick Roberts is expected to start on Tuesday night, and he may impress Guardiola and the Etihad crowd. Other than that, Celtic have shown very good things in the group stage, especially at home, and the way they played in the 3-3 draw against City was proof of how good they are in their best day. They need Celtic Park to be good, though, and they won't be at Celtic Park for this one.
Celtic Away is not the same team as Celtic At The Paradise. 3-1 City, Agüero hat-trick because why not?