Manchester City's failure to win the biggest prize in club football is intriguing. They have one of the best managers in Pep Guardiola and every season, they spent a massive amount on squad enforcement. Now the Citizens start another UEFA Champions League campaign, with a tricky Group C home match against FC Porto. (More Football News)
Last season, City were touted to lift the elusive trophy but were shocked by Lyon in the quarter-finals. And in the run-up to their Champions League season opener, Guardiola defended his squad by owning up the exit in the previous editions.
They have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals under Guardiola's tenure, last reaching the semi-finals under Manuel Pellegrini in 2016.
Here are the confirmed starting XIs:
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Garcia, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling.
Subs: Stones, Zinchenko, Steffen, Torres, Fernandinho, Carson, Foden, Nmecha, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Palmer, Bernabe.
FC Porto: Marchesin, Mbemba, Pepe, Sarr, Corona, Sergio Oliveira, Uribe, Sanusi, Vieira, Diaz, Marega.
Subs: Grujic, Diogo Leite, N’Diaye, Taremi, Nakajima, Manafa, Baro, Felipe Anderson, Martinez, Evanilson, Nanu, Costa.
But City will take heart from the fact that they are unbeaten in 11 group stage games since losing to Lyon in September 2018 and Porto are winless in their last four opening group stage matches.
They have met only twice, in UEFA Europa League, with City winning 6-1 on aggregate, in 2012. And City will again start favourites. But Guardiola has faced Porto three times, in the Champions League with Bayern Munich and European Super Cup with Barcelona. He orchestrated wins all the meetings.
Marseille (France) and Olympiacos (Greece) are the other two sides in the group.
What: UEFA Champions League, Group C match between Manchester City and FC Porto
When: October 22 (Thursday), 00:30 AM IST
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
TV Listing and streaming:
Sony Ten 1/HD, SonyLiv in the Indian subcontinent;
Eleven Sports 1 Portugal, TVI in Portugal;
BT Sport App, BTSport.com, BT Sport Extra, BT Sport 3, BT Sport Ultimate in the UK;
TUDN.com, ZonaFutbol, Univision NOW, TUDNxtra, CBS All Access, TUDN App, Galavision in United States;
Movistar Liga de Campeones 6, Movistar+, Mitele Plus in Spain.
City will miss Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy, but Sergio Aguero is expected to start. Sergio Conceicao's Porto will miss Ivan Marcano and Mouhamed Mbaye.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, Foden; Torres, Aguero, Sterling
Porto: Marchesin; Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Sanusi; Oliveira, Otavio, Uribe; Corona, Marega, Anderson.
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