Competition/Round: 2018/19 UEFA Champions League Season – Matchday 2
Date/Time: TSG Hoffenheim vs Manchester City – Tuesday, 2 October 2018, 17:55 (UK & Nigeria); 12:55 EST, 09:55 PST (USA); 21:55 IST (India)
Venue: Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Sinsheim, Germany
Referee: Damir Skomina
Assistants: Jure Praprotnik, Robert Vukan
Fourth Official: Grega Kordež
TV Info: BT Sport Live (UK); Turner Network TV (USA)
Live Stream: Watch TNT (USA)
Radio: BBC Radio Manchester (UK); TalkSport Radio World (USA)
After an entertaining state of affairs, the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League is back underway. German club TSG Hoffenheim will host English opposition Manchester City on Matchday 2.
TSG Hoffenheim have struggled at the start of this season, as they have collected only seven points out of a possible eighteen, and eight out of twenty-one across all competitions. Die Kraichgauer have also scored 12 goals in these seven matches whilst conceding 12, thus they have been unable to make a real impact on the field. Now, as they prepare for their Champions League fixture, the German side have to sort things out defensively if they have any hope of overcoming a rampant City side.
Meanwhile, Manchester City comfortably overcame Oxford United during the Carabao Cup’s third round and disbanded Brighton & Hove Albion in their latest English Premier League fixture. With two victories behind them, the Blues will shift their focus toward their European campaign as they travel to Germany on Matchday 2.
The Blues may be concerned with some bad omens, however, as the referee appointment for this match is none other than Damir Skomina. The Slovenian previously officiated four of City’s Champions League matches, where City were winless in all four matches.
TSG Hoffenheim have a series of injured players who will not feature in this match. Lukas Rupp, Dennis Geiger, Nadiem Amiri and Kasim Adams are expected to return within this calendar year. The club is uncertain when Benjamin Hübner and Kerem Demirbay will return, as the extent of their injuries is unknown.
Manchester City are without Kevin De Bruyne, Claudio Bravo and Fabian Delph, who are all sidelined through injury. Sergio Agüero is also a doubt. Despite being injured, manager Pep Guardiola has also become frustrated with Benjamin Mendy, and it was reported that the French full back was banned from training for a week.
Baumann; Bičakčić, Vogt, Posch; Brenet, Zuber, Grillitsch, Bittencourt, Schulz; Joelinton, Kramarić
Manager: Julian Nagelsmann
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Danilo; B. Silva, Fernandinho, D. Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sané
Manager: Pep Guardiola
TSG Hoffenheim will feel undone on Matchday 1, as they controlled the majority of the match in Kharkiv, Ukraine. A late equalizer saw Shakhtar Donetsk side steal a point, although both sides will be pleased with the result. Should they have any hopes of progressing to the knock out stages, however, Hoffenheim will need to earn a result at home against their English opposition.
Manchester City will enter this match with a must-win mentality, as the Blues unexpectedly dropped points against Olympique Lyonnais on Matchday 1. A second match without a victory would be viewed as a failure, and thus the visitors will be more eager to collect all three points.
Given the stakes of the match, it is expected this will be a cagey affair. Both sides will be need to be defensively composed should they hope to earn a result. Ultimately, it is predicted that the visitors will spoil the fun and will earn their first victory in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
TSG Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester City