Steaua Bucharest v City: Champions League preview
Last season’s semi-finalists Manchester City will have to negotiate two qualifying legs against Romanian outfit Steaua Bucharest if they are to compete in this season’s group stage. The first leg takes place on Tuesday night in Bucharest, Guardiola’s first competitive away match as manager of the Sky Blues.
Guardiola has won the tournament during his playing days at Barcelona and then twice again as manager of the club. Tuesday’s opponents are 26-time winners of the Romanian top tier, and winners of the 1985-86 European Cup. Bucharest currently sit top of the domestic table, having won all 3 of their opening fixtures.
Guardiola’s opposite number, Laurentiu Reghecampf insists he is ‘very confident’ of his sides chances against City. “We saw City play Sunderland and have all the information to play football well and achieve a positive result,” Reghecampf said in his pre-match press conference. “Even if we face a big team, even if we face the best coach in the world with fantastic results, it is a huge chance for us to prove ourselves. “I am very confident that we will qualify for the group stage again. We have a strong team and the match starts at 0-0.”
The sides will meet again for the 2nd leg in Manchester on 24 August.
Team News: Toure left out of the squad, Joe Hart’s future uncertain
The big news is that Yaya Toure has been left out of City’s squad for the two-legged tie, although Guardiola is eager to play down the significance of his omission.
“He [Toure] is much, much better in the last few days. But I wasn’t sure he was going to play so I prefer to leave him there, training well in Manchester and looking forward to the next game.”
Goalkeeper Joe Hart was dropped for City’s Premier League opener against Sunderland, amid rumours of interest in Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo. Hart could be reinstated for Tuesday’s match, while Nicolas Otamendi is fit against following a tendon problem.
Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala, Oleksandar Zinchenko and Jason Denayer will all join Toure in Manchester due to injury, along with Ilkay Gundogan, Leory Sane and Vincent Kompany.
Youngsters Angus Gunn, Tosin Adarabioyo and Angelino Tasende have been included in the squad traveling to Romania.
“We travelled with two young guys and for the selection I prefer it to be the young guys than Yaya Toure,” Guardiola added.
Steaua Bucharest predicted line up
Manchester City predicted line up
101 Great Goals Prediction
Steaua Bucharest 0-2 Manchester City