MX23RW : Tuesday, November 24 03:52:03| >> :120:24556:24556:
Oct 22, 2019 at 8pm UK at Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 49,308
Man CityManchester City
AtalantaAtalanta BC
Aguero (34', 38' pen.), Sterling (58', 64', 69')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Malinovskiy (28' pen.)

Preview: Manchester City vs. Atalanta BC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Manchester City and Atalanta BC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester City and Atalanta BC will lock horns for the first time in European competition on Tuesday night as the Premier League champions welcome the Italian side to the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola's side are sitting comfortably at the top of Group C with six points from an available six, while Atalanta are bottom having lost their first two Champions League matches to Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Match preview

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola before the match against Crystal Palace on October 19, 2019© Reuters

City suffered their second defeat of the season before the international break with Wolverhampton Wanderers recording a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League. Guardiola's team will enter this match off the back of a successful weekend, though, having clawed back some ground on league leaders Liverpool.

Indeed, a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in Saturday's late kickoff was followed by Liverpool drawing 1-1 at Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, meaning that the gap from first to second is now six points rather than eight, which certainly sounds a lot better for the reigning champions.

Defensive problems have harmed the Citizens in recent weeks, but it would be a huge surprise if they had any problems when it comes to advancing to the last-16 stage of the Champions League. Indeed, as mentioned, the English giants are currently top of Group C with six points from their two fixtures.

City started their 2019-20 European campaign with a 3-0 win at Shakhtar before beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 on home soil earlier this month. While the 2018-19 season was incredibly successful in terms of domestic trophies, there is no question that the owners will be looking for an improvement in the Champions League this term.

Indeed, Guardiola's team lost to eventual finalists Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals of last season's competition, while their best performance in the competition remains reaching the last four in 2015-16.

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini pictured on August 25, 2019© Reuters

Last term's third-placed finish in Serie A meant that Atalanta qualified for the group stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history. This season will forever be remembered by the club, but it would be fair to say that the Italian side have found it difficult in their first two Group C matches.

Indeed, Atalanta were well beaten on September 18 as they lost 4-0 at Dinamo Zagreb, before suffering a 2-1 home defeat to Shakhtar earlier this month. The Serie A outfit now face back-to-back games against City, which is hardly ideal as they look to put some Champions League points on the board.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side are again going well in Serie A, though, with a total of 17 points from eight matches leaving them in third spot in the table. Only Inter Milan and Juventus have outperformed them in the league this season, and they certainly have players capable of causing City problems in this match.

What's more, Atalanta have only lost three of their last 16 European matches, recording seven wins in the process. The Italian side will also have fond memories of their last trip to England having thumped Everton 5-1 in the group stages of the 2017-18 Europa League.

City are the overwhelming favourites to top Group C but second spot appears open for discussion, and a win for Atalanta on Tuesday night would certainly fuel suggestions that the Italian side could yet make the round of 16 despite getting off to a slow start.

Manchester City form: WW

Atalanta form: LL

Team News

Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte is stretchered off on August 31, 2019© Reuters

Fernandinho and Rodri were forced to play central defence against Palace due to City's issues at the back, but John Stones made his recovery from injury off the bench at Selhurst Park.

The England international could now start on Tuesday night, while fellow centre-back Nicolas Otamendi is likely to be declared fit as the knock that ruled him out of Saturday's affair is not serious.

Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte remain long-term absentees with knee injuries, but Kyle Walker has an outside chance of featuring as the Englishman looks to overcome a recent illness.

Alterations are expected from the Premier League clash on Saturday, with Stones, Otamendi and Sergio Aguero all in line for starts, while Fernandinho and David Silva are among those who could be rested.

As for Atalanta, leading scorer Duvan Zapata has been in red-hot form this season, but the Colombia international is a doubt with a thigh injury that he picked up over the international break.

If Zapata is not available to feature then Luis Muriel, who scored twice in Saturday's 3-3 draw with Lazio in Serie A, is expected to start at the tip of the attack.

Marten de Roon is pushing for a recall having been named among the substitutes at the weekend, although the former Middlesbrough midfielder might have to once again accept a spot on the bench.

Ukraine international Ruslan Malinovskiy is said to be attracting interest from Chelsea, and the 26-year-old will be hoping to impress in an advanced position for the visitors in this match.

Manchester City possible starting lineup: Ederson; Cancelo, Otamendi, Stones, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo, Aguero, Sterling

Atalanta possible starting lineup: Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Masiello; Hateboer, Freuler, Pasalic, Gosens; Malinovskiy, Muriel, Gomez

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We say: Manchester City 2-0 Atalanta

Zapata's potential absence for Atalanta would be a major blow to the away side, and we are finding it difficult to predict anything other than a routine home victory on Tuesday night.


Who will win Tuesday's Champions League clash between Manchester City and Atalanta?

Manchester City
Manchester City
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