Manchester City team news and predicted XI vs Red Star Belgrade

All the latest team news from the Etihad

Manchester City and Pep Guardiola begin their defence of the Champions League trophy with a home tie against lowly Red Star Belgrade but will want to kick their campaign off to a winning start, which could see a strong side named by the Spanish boss.

Currently five wins from five and top of the Premier League table, the Cityzens will be looking to take that form into the Champions League and have their group wrapped up before the fixture congestion begins to ramp up in October and November.

With this in mind, this is how we expect the Cityzens to line up, and the latest team news from the Etihad.

Predicted XI

Team News

Manchester City’s squad is looking unusually thin in areas thanks to injuries, with four key players expected to miss their Champions League opener.

Kevin de Bruyne remains a long term absentee with the Belgian not due to return to action until January after suffering a hamstring tear, while summer signing Mateo Kovacic is also sidelined and this midweek clash may come too soon for the Croatian, who is recovering from a back injury.

This could hand deadline day addition Matheus Nunes a full debut in the centre of midfield, with the Wolves man having so far only been limited to substitute appearances for the Cityzens and coming off the bench in their win over West Ham United.

There are also issues in defence, with John Stones still out with the issue that has seen him miss much of the start of the season. It means that Kyle Walker may have to continue at right back, though there is also the option of shifting Manuel Akanji into the role, or recalling young talent Rico Lewis.

Further forward, Jeremy Doku is likely to keep his place after scoring against West Ham at the weekend, and the Belgian will benefit from Jack Grealish’s injury which leaves options to replace the summer signing thin on the ground.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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