The final match before the much anticipated Manchester Derby is finally here! Manchester City are in Ukraine for their Champions League group stage finale against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night, and this really doesn’t mean a lot.
City have already qualified as group winners two weeks ago with a home win against Feyenoord, and Shakhtar need just a point to qualify in second place and send Napoli to the Europa League. Shakhtar are pretty good at home and City are yet to lose a game this season, so it’s really hard to care about this one as we know it’ll probably end in a draw.
Then again, City are managed by Pep Guardiola, who is a crazy person. Pep said in his pre-match press conference that he wants to win this one and maybe help Napoli qualify for the knockout rounds. Sure, it’s crazy! But then again, this is Pep Guardiola. He also wants to keep City unbeaten this season, which would be a pretty good confidence booster ahead of the visit to Old Trafford.
This could be a really boring draw or one of the craziest football matches ever. So you’ll have to watch it to find out.
MATCH INFO, TV/STREAMING
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 7:45pm GMT (UK), 8:45pm WAT (Nigeria), 2:45pm ET, 11:45am PT (USA), 1:15am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Metalist Stadion, Kharkiv, Ukraine
TV listings: BT Sport ESPN (UK), Fox Soccer Plus (USA), SuperSport 6 (Nigeria), TSN5 (Canada), Sony ESPN (India)
Online streaming: BT Sport Live (UK), WatchESPN, Fox Soccer Match Pass (USA), TSN GO (Canada), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
John Stones (thigh), Benjamin Mendy (knee), Kevin De Bruyne (suspension) and David Silva (rest) are the players absent for this one, which already opens the door for some rotation of the squad against Shakhtar. The squad will stay in Ukraine for two more days after the game to be away from Manchester while they train for Sunday’s Derby, so only the first team players have made the trip. That doesn’t mean we’ll see City’s strongest possible side in this one, which means a night off for key players like Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and others.
Manchester City (4-3-3)
Ederson; Danilo, Kompany, Mangala, Delph; Gundogan, Touré, Foden; Bernardo, Jesus, Sané
Shakhtar Donetsk (4-2-3-1)
Pyatov; Petryak, Ordets, Rakitskiy, Ismaily; Fred, Stepanenko; Marlos, Kovalenko, Bernard; Ferreyra
I don’t think City will lose this one, but if a lot of changes happen I don’t see us getting a win either: 2-2 draw, really fun game.