Manchester City come into tonight’s fixture in the Champions League knowing that a win against Club Brugge is potentially vital for them to progress.
City have not been blessed with the easiest of groups this year, instead being drawn in what some might call a ‘group of death’. Paris Saint Germain already inflicted a defeat on the 2021 Champions League finalists on match day two, while RB Leipzig and Club Brugge were swept aside with relative ease in the first half of the group games.
However, a loss tonight will plant City in third place in the group, and depending on the result in the PSG/Leipzig game it could blow the group wide open in terms of progression into the knockout rounds.
On the other hand, a City win will give them the perfect platform to try and push for top spot in the group, and will all but confirm their place in the last 16.
So who can Pep Guardiola call upon to get the job done tonight?
Well the answer to that is practically everyone. The only definite absentee is Ferran Torres but everyone else is back in contention to be picked.
Ilkay Gundogan could return after missing the 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday, while other fringe players such as John Stones and Riyad Mahrez will want to see their name back on the team sheet.
So with one eye likely on the Manchester derby at the weekend, here’s our prediction.
Bar the introduction of Stones, who comes in for Ruben Dias who might be rested ahead of the derby, the back five will remain the same.
Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri will continue from the weekend while Phil Foden drops back into the midfield three in favour of other attacking options.
Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus will continue on the wings again while Raheem Sterling will come in up front.
City brushed aside Brugge 5-1 in the away fixture, so should be expected to perform similarly tonight. Expect minutes off the bench for Cole Palmer again.