Manchester City host Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday knowing that a victory will send them through as group winners with a game to spare, and Pep Guardiola’s side will be full of confidence coming into this tie after defeating Chelsea 2-1 on Saturday.
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk – Champions League Group C
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick Off: 20:00
TV Channel: BT Sport
Manchester City come into the game sitting top of Group C, and with ten points to their name and five points clear of nearest rivals Shakhtar and Dinamo Zagreb, they will be confident of sealing top spot on Tuesday night.
Bouncing back from a disappointing result at Anfield, Pep Guardiola adjusted his tactics brilliantly to get the best out of Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who provided a vintage display in victory over Frank Lampard’s side. Although rotation is expected from Guardiola, his squad depth and personnel available should mean that City are well placed to beat the Ukrainian side, who travel to Manchester in search of a point that would massively boost their qualification hopes.
Shakhtar Donetsk sit top of the Ukrainian Premier League with an imperious record, sitting thirteen points clear of Dynamo Kyiv with 14 wins and a draw from fifteen games, meaning Luis Castro’s side cannot be underestimated. They have shown in games against Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb their attacking threat, with an impressive counter attacking performance against Atalanta leading to them nicking a 2-1 win in Italy, and they will look to do the same in Manchester on Tuesday.
Goals have flowed in Shakhtar’s domestic games this season, and a 4-1 win over FC Lviv on Friday continued this trend, with a hat trick from striker Junior Moraes and Alan Patrick adding the fourth. Although they were defeated 3-0 at home against City, they will still fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet against a City defence who have shown vulnerability to counter attacking football in recent weeks. N’Golo Kante’s opener highlighted concerns Manchester City have when being overloaded on the counter attack, and Shakhtar showed their effectiveness away at Atalanta in doing this.
The Ukrainian side will be keen to avoid a heavy defeat, leaving themselves in the best position possible when heading into their final game against Atalanta. A team in form, but up against a different class in Manchester City, it should still be a routine victory for City, but the pricing is a little tighter than the class of the Ukrainians suggest.
Manchester City are without Leroy Sane, Ayermic Laporte & Olkesandr Zinchenko. Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Rodri are doubtful, whilst Claudio Bravo is suspended.
Shakhtar Donetsk are without Andrii Totovytskyi, Maksym Malyshev, Oleksandr Pikhalionok and Manor Solomon through injury.
Head to Head:
Manchester City Wins – 4
Draws – 0
Shakhtar Donetsk Wins – 1
Shakhtar have scored 44 goals in 15 domestic games this season, with Junior Moraes top scoring with 14 goals
Manchester City have seen 9 Yellow Cards an 2 Red Cards in their four Champions League games; discipline has been an issue
Raheem Sterling has netted five goals in four games in the Champions League this season, averaging 3.3 shots per game
Manchester City Last 5: W W D L W
Shakhtar Donetsk Last 5: D W D W W
Goals should be expected in this game, and City will have the cutting edge to break through the Shakhtar defence. With four City options odds on, the youngster Phil Foden represents value at 16/5 to score anytime. After featuring off the bench against Chelsea on Saturday, the English midfielder is expected to start, and he showed his willingness to contribute in attacking areas, managing two shots in the time he was on the pitch. A goal against Dinamo Zagreb highlighted his clinical edge, whilst he has shown excellent goalscoring form when away with England U21s, netting a fantastic free kick against Albania during the International break.
It is hard to see past a City win, and despite Shakhtar’s goalscoring exploits domestically, they will set up much more reserved against Guardiola’s side, so the goal markets are hard to get behind at such shot prices. The Ukrainians are not to be underestimated, and it could take time for City to break them down. Although it would be no surprise to see a resounding City win, it’s still worth considering the Draw HT Manchester City FT option at 15/4, given the short prices elsewhere.