MX23RW : Wednesday, January 27 01:37:04| >> :120:5977:5977:

How Manchester City could line up against Porto

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester City could line up for their Champions League showdown with Porto on Tuesday evening.

Manchester City will be looking to maintain their perfect record in the 2020-21 Champions League when they pay a visit to the home of Portuguese champions Porto in the penultimate round of group-stage matches.

Pep Guardiola's men have already been assured of their place in the knockout stages following four wins from four so far, which included a routine 3-1 triumph over Porto - who currently sit second in Group C - at the Etihad last month.

City will certainly be brimming with confidence heading into this game as they trounced Burnley 5-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, with Riyad Mahrez netting a hat-trick for the five-star Citizens in that victory.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Guardiola could line his side up for their trip to Porto in midweek.


Out: None
Doubtful: Nathan Ake (hamstring), Sergio Aguero (knee)

> Click here for Manchester City's latest injury and suspension news ahead of this match

Guardiola recently insisted that he is prepared to pick players based on form rather than rely on his infamous rotation, but it would be a surprise to see the City manager not make a number of changes during this unforgiving festive period.

Thankfully for the Spaniard, he has very few absentees to worry about at this moment in time, with Nathan Ake and Sergio Aguero the only two doubts for their first fixture of December.

Ake is understood to have fully recovered from a hamstring problem, but it seems unlikely that the Netherlands international will be thrust straight back into the starting lineup, so Oleksandr Zinchenko could make a return to the fold at left-back over Benjamin Mendy, who has only just returned from injury himself.

Kyle Walker may be given a rest for this one to allow Joao Cancelo to reprise his role on the right-hand side, while Aymeric Laporte - who was rested for the weekend thrashing of Burnley - should return to the defence alongside Ruben Dias.

Rodri was given a 45-minute run-out against the Clarets before being taken off, so the Spaniard should make an immediate return to the midfield alongside Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden - the latter of whom scored City's only goal in their victory over Olympiacos last week.

Guardiola's hand may be forced up front with Aguero a major doubt for the trip to the Estadio do Dragao. The Argentine experienced some swelling in his knee before the visit of Burnley, and with Aguero still waiting to resume training, he is unlikely to recover in time for this bout.

Ferran Torres boasts a strong record in this season's Champions League - scoring in all three matches he has played in - and the 20-year-old may be given a run-out up top over Gabriel Jesus, who has struggled to hit top form so far this term.

Mahrez will not want to be dropped for this one following his hat-trick against Burnley, but Guardiola may grant the Algeria international a well-earned rest and give Bernardo Silva the chance to impress from the off, with Raheem Sterling, who boasts one goal and three assists in Europe this season, set to return to the left-hand side after he was an unused substitute on Saturday.


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