Connect with us

Match Coverage

Oscar Bobb and Matheus Nunes both start – Predicted XI: Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen (UEFA Champions League Last-16 Second-Leg)



| Last Updated:


Manchester City will look to cement their place in the quarter-finals of this season’s UEFA Champions League, as they host FC Copenhagen in the second-leg of their round of 16 tie this week.

The reigning champions of Europe must follow on from their impressive derby day victory at the weekend, as Pep Guardiola’s players defeated local rivals Manchester United 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

It was a comprehensive victory in the end, after a nervy opening which saw Marcus Rashford put the blues to the sword with a thumping strike from 30-yards to give Erik ten Hag’s squad a priceless lead away from home.

However, Phil Foden decided to take that personally and mustered up a couple of sensational strikes to give Manchester City the lead in the second-half, before Erling Haaland finished the scoring in the dying embers of the game.

With another crucial Premier League clash on the horizon this weekend, the treble winners must not get distracted from the task at hand, with FC Copenhagen visiting the Etihad Stadium first and foremost.

The reverse fixture saw the blues bring home a 3-1 aggregate score from Parken, courtesy of goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden in the Danish Capital last month.

Manchester City arrive into the game with a fully-fit squad barring Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku, with the former having been confirmed to be absent and no clear timeframe on his recovery from his latest groin injury setback.

Josko Gvardiol returned to the bench at the weekend after a prolonged absence, and will be looking to return to the starting side for this fixture, with the title holders expected to ease past their opponents on Wednesday.

With that being said, here is the line-up we predict will start the clash for Manchester City for the second-leg of their Round of 16 tie against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night at the Etihad Stadium!

Predicted XI

Amid recent rumours of an exit this summer, we think Stefan Ortega will be given a start in goal for this one, given the current aggregate scoreline and perhaps a mental rest for Ederson ahead of a crunch period in the season.

Rico Lewis has seen limited action as of late under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but we think the teenage talents returns to the starting line-up for this one, giving some crucial rest to some of the defensive members.

John Stones has been a regular starter lately so should be afforded a rest this week. As such, we think Manuel Akanji may partner Ruben Dias in the centre of a back-four looking to limit the Copenhagen threat.

Josko Gvardiol should start this one for Manchester City in what could be his first outing following an ankle ligament problem, giving some rest to Nathan Ake who should be given the nod at Anfield at the weekend.

Mateo Kovacic has proven in recent weeks that rest to Rodrigo can be afforded through the Croatian’s ability to start at the base of a midfield trio, and we believe Wednesday night will mark one of those occasions.

Summer signing Matheus Nunes should start for this one following a recent rise in performances under Pep Guardiola, and we think he will partner his compatriot Bernardo Silva in the centre.

Julian Alvarez was an impact substitute at the weekend against Manchester United, coming on and providing a crucial assist for Manchester City’s second goal. Following on from that cameo, we think he starts this one in a right-wing role.

Erling Haaland managed to grab his goal in the latter stages of the game at the weekend but will probably have been ruing the big chance missed in the first-half. We expect the Norwegian to keep his place and regain some confidence going into the weekend.

It hasn’t been the easiest couple of weeks for Jeremy Doku, and there is a feeling that his misery may have continued having missed first-team training on Tuesday. Going off the assumption that the Belgian is injured, we believe Oscar Bobb will start.

Starting XI: Ortega Moreno; Lewis, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Kovacic, Nunes, Bernardo; Alvarez, Haaland, Bobb.

Substitutes: Ederson, Carson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Gomez, Susoho, Wright, Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden, Hamilton.