Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City
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Manchester City playmaker David Silva is a doubt for Sunday’s derby against Manchester United after missing the Champions League trip to Shakhtar Donetsk through injury.
The 31-year-old picked up the problem late in Sunday’s 2-1 win over West Ham.
“I don’t know if he is able to play on Sunday. That’s why he stayed in Manchester to recover,” said boss Pep Guardiola.
City have already secured top spot in Group F with five straight wins.
Guardiola refused to reveal details of the injury, saying only that it was “something uncomfortable”.
Silva, who signed a contract extension earlier this week, has started four of City’s last five Premier League games.
Bernardo Silva, signed from Monaco for £43m in May, could step in for his namesake in Ukraine and make only his sixth start for the club.
The Portugal playmaker would also be a strong option to start this weekend’s Premier League match at Old Trafford if the Spain midfielder is ruled out.
Kevin de Bruyne is suspended after picking up three bookings in the tournament but, with their place in the last 16 of the Champions League already assured as group winners, City could also give game time to some of their young prospects.
Shakhtar Donetsk probably weren’t expecting to be in this position coming into the final round of Champions League group games. When they were drawn in a group including Manchester City and Napoli, as well as Feyenoord, most people had them down as distant 3rd place finishers in the group, but it hasn’t turned out to be that case.
In fact, coming into Wednesday’s game they sit 2nd in the group, some six points adrift of the perfect record of Manchester City but holding a three point lead over Napoli. A point would secure them qualification, but they do lag behind Napoli in the head to head records, so defeat for Shakhtar and a win for Napoli would resign Shakhtar Donetsk to the Europa League.
Saturday saw the Ukrainians beat Veres for the second time in under a week, a result which makes it three wins on the bounce since their deserved defeat at Napoli. In the Champions League they have won three of their five games, including an excellent 2-1 win at home to Napoli. However, they were no contest for Manchester City when they met at The Etihad earlier this season, so things could be really tough for them here.
Manchester City’s season has hit a bit of a turning point, and whilst their performances are dropping off the boil a bit, they are showing the winning mentality that is needed to lift trophies. They have fallen behind in two of their last three games and been level in the final ten minutes in each of their last three, but each time they have pulled a winner out of the hat to keep them marching towards the Premier League title.
The Citizens have now won eight games on the bounce in all competitions and remain unbeaten this season. All five of their Champions League group games have ended in victory, including hauling four goals away to both Feyenoord and Napoli.
Pep Guardiola is likely to rest some key figures ahead of next weekend’s Manchester derby, but they won’t be an easy side to stop, no matter who takes to the field. There will be some first team figures, and those that aren’t in the usual starting 11 will be keen to impress when given the chance. Odds on Manchester City to get yet another win look fantastic value for money, and that’s what we’re going for along with a fourth consecutive 2-1 win.
Post Tags:Champions League
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