Connect with us

Match Coverage

Rodri’s return, Nathan Ake dropped, Jack Grealish to start – Predicted XI: RB Leipzig vs Manchester City (UEFA Champions League Group Stage)



| Last Updated:


Manchester City embark on their second Champions League group stage contest of the new season as they travel to RB Leipzig this week.

The reigning European champions will be looking to get back to winning ways in Germany, as they come into the game against Marco Rose’s side off the back of consecutive defeats against Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup and Wolves in the Premier League.

Defeat at Molineux was City’s first of the ongoing Premier League season, as Julian Alvarez’s second-half equaliser to make amends for Ruben Dias’ own goal was cancelled out by Hwang Hee-chan’s winning goal for Gary O’Neil’s side.

Manchester City remain top of the English top-flight however, by a single point, following Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat away to Tottenham in a game marred by serious VAR failures and subsequent controversy.

City will look to make it six points from a possible six as they travel to Saxony to face RB Leipzig this week, building on from the matchday one win over Serbian giants Crvena zvezda at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago.

Pep Guardiola has been buoyed by the double return of Bernardo Silva and John Stones to first-team training this week following respective injuries, and both players have travelled to Germany with a 22-man contingent.

You can find the full 22-man travelling Manchester City squad below.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Pep Guardiola also confirmed that Manchester City’s travel arrangements had been disturbed by severe wind warnings, meaning their flight to Germany was delayed by around three hours.

Kevin De Bruyne of course remains sidelined as a result of surgery on his hamstring, while Rodri returns to availability for Manchester City with his three-match ban restricted to domestic action – as that suspension comes to a close with the trip to Arsenal on Sunday.

Ahead of the clash between RB Leipzig and Manchester City, as well as Josko Gvardiol’s first return to the Red Bull Arena following his summer exit, here is how we predict Pep Guardiola will line-up his side on Wednesday night!

Predicted XI

We’ll start things off with the certainties, as Ederson takes his place between the sticks for the UEFA Champions League holders in this one, barring something significant.

Moving into the back-four, and Kyle Walker is likely to take a role as the squad’s right-back at the Red Bull Arena.

Ruben Dias is highly unlikely to see his starting berth stripped as a result of his unfortunate own goal at the weekend, and we expect the Portugal international to be partnered by Manuel Akanji in the centre of defence.

Following on from a largely calamitous outing from Nathan Ake at Molineux on Saturday, but not related to the performance, we expect Josko Gvardiol to mark his return to Leipzig with a start at left-back.

Rodri will be a welcome sight at the base of Manchester City’s midfield, as he is likely to break out from a three-game domestic football suspension to start in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Ahead of the Spanish international is likely to be either of Matheus Nunes or Mateo Kovacic, however we believe that it will be the former to get the nod as Kovacic earns somewhat or a break before the weekend’s Premier League showdown at the Emirates Stadium.

Julian Alvarez is expected to resume responsibilities as an advanced midfielder in Germany for Manchester City, operating just behind Pep Guardiola’s striker on the night.

Phil Foden could take on the role of Manchester City’s right-wing, as Pep Guardiola may opt to preserve Bernardo Silva during his early stages of recovery towards full match fitness.

Erling Haaland will start at striker.

On the left, Jack Grealish could be utilised in search of retained possession and the reduction of what is expected to be another fierce atmosphere over in Germany.

Starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Nunes, Alvarez; Foden, Haaland, Grealish.

Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Lewis, Stones, Ake, Gomez, Phillips, Kovacic, Bernardo, Doku, Bobb.