MX23RW : Thursday, September 23 07:43:35| >> :60:331:331:
Sep 15, 2021 at 8pm UK at Etihad Stadium
Man CityManchester City
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig
Ake (16'), Mukiele (28' og.), Mahrez (45+2' pen.), Grealish (56'), Cancelo (75'), Jesus (85')
Zinchenko (12')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Nkunku (42', 51', 73')
Klostermann (45+1'), Adams (49'), Angelino (58')
Angelino (79')

Preview: Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Manchester City and RB Leipzig, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to avenge years of Champions League heartbreak, Manchester City begin their quest for European success against RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The hosts fell at the final hurdle to Chelsea in the 2020-21 final, whereas Leipzig were swiftly dispatched by Liverpool in the last 16.

Match preview

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola looks on on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Travelling to Porto with the favourites tag embroiled onto their crests, Man City manager Pep Guardiola finally set out to achieve his ultimate goal of Champions League glory with the Etihad outfit earlier this year, only for Kai Havertz to propel Chelsea to the crown and condemn City to more agony in Europe.

Guardiola may have led City to domestic silverware without so much as breaking a sweat over the past few years, but success in Europe's premier competition still eludes them as they prepare to ply their trade in the group stage for the 11th consecutive season.

Not since the 2012-13 season have City failed to make it out of the group stage, but with 2021-22 Group A also including Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain, top spot is far from guaranteed for Guardiola's men this time around.

However, City at least welcome Leipzig to the Etihad having won their last three Premier League matches without shipping a single goal - while also scoring 11 at the correct end of the pitch - but only a Bernardo Silva winner could separate them from Leicester City in a narrow 1-0 win at the weekend.

Not since September 2018 have City suffered defeat in the group stages of the Champions League - winning 13 and drawing four of their 17 such games since that loss to Lyon - and Leipzig do not exactly travel to Manchester with the wind in their sails.

RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch pictured on August 15, 2021© Reuters

A manager admitting that his side may not be ready for their next game is never a good sign, but those were the words spoken by RB Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch after his side's woeful start to the new season continued against Bayern Munich.

With the Bavarian giants now under the tutelage of former Leipzig icon Julian Nagelsmann, goals from Robert Lewandowski, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala and Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting condemned Marsch's men to a dampening defeat following previous losses to Mainz 05 and early leaders Wolfsburg.

A 4-0 thrashing of Stuttgart represents the only silver lining in Leipzig's season so far, and Marsch has admitted that Die Roten Bullen may "not be ready for such big challenges" in the form of Man City and PSG as they somehow attempt to scrape their way into the knockout rounds.

On another sour note, Leipzig have lost three of their last four Champions League games away from home without scoring a single goal, two of which saw them lose to English opposition in Manchester United and Liverpool 5-0 and 2-0 respectively.

Wednesday's game marks the first-ever meeting between City and Leipzig in any competition, but Guardiola's men faced German teams four times in last year's tournament and came up trumps four times - beating Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund en route to the final.

Manchester City form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne squats on June 27, 2021© Reuters

City have welcomed Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne back to the fold in recent days, and both men are in contention to feature this week after being named on the bench at the King Power at the weekend.

The returns of De Bruyne and Foden leaves the COVID-positive Zack Steffen as City's only absentee through illness or injury, while Benjamin Mendy has been remanded in custody after being charged with rape and sexual assault.

John Stones has seen his opportunities limited so far this term but will hope to displace Aymeric Laporte here, while Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling could be introduced in an attacking reshuffle.

Meanwhile, Leipzig defender Marcelo Saracchi continues to rehabilitate following a cruciate ligament tear, while Marcel Halstenberg is nursing an ankle problem.

Angelino was fit enough to play 58 minutes against Bayern after shaking off a muscular issue, while Lukas Klostermann is an option for change on the opposite side over Nordi Mukiele.

Marsch will certainly ponder further alterations after his side were humbled by Bayern, with Amadou Haidara and Emil Forsberg among those pushing for places.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, Silva; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sterling

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Klostermann, Orban, Simakan, Angelino; Laimer, Haidara; Nkunku, Olmo, Szoboszlai; Silva

SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 3-1 RB Leipzig

In spite of their struggles, Leipzig have attacking quality in abundance, and we would not put it past Marsch's side to break the defensive resilience of the Premier League champions.

However, City have enjoyed a far superior start to the season and have their eyes firmly on the prize this time around, so we can only back Guardiola's men to get the job done convincingly.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:curl

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