Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Wednesday, 21st October, 2015, 1645 GMT
Group D of the UEFA Champions League is arguably one of the toughest groups this season, with the likes of Juventus, Borussia Monchengladbach, Manchester City and Sevilla.
There are no easy matches in this group, and every match is expected to be hotly contested between the teams involved.
Both Man City and Sevilla are currently on three points each and would be looking to get the three points out of this match in order to catch up with Juventus, who are currently on top of the group with six points.
While City are coming on the back of two huge league wins, Sevilla have had a mixed bag of fortune in the La Liga, managing to win only two of their last five matches in all competitions.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Although Man City have scored 11 goals in their last two Premier League outings, they are set to miss a number of key players due to injuries, in this match. Two players, who Arsenal are set to miss the most, are striker Sergio Aguero and playmaker David Silva.
Other than these two, City are also set to miss the services of full back Gael Clichy and midfielder Fabian Delph with ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively.
In the absence of Silva, Kevin De Bruyne is most likely to take up the role behind central striker Wilfried Bony. Manager Manuel Pellegrini could also put the Belgian out wide and push Ivorian Yaya Toure up, behind the striker.
Expected Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Navas, De Bruyne, Sterling; Bony.
Visiting team Sevilla are on a good run of form, but even they have a long list of walking wounded, with Gael Kakuta and Sergio Escudero out with muscle injuries.
As the Spaniards travel to England to face their former star Jesus Navas, they stand a chance of missing out on the services of striker Fernando Llorente due to an adductor injury. Although they have been performing well on the domestic front, they need to get some points on the board if they want to keep hopes of qualifying for the Round of 16 alive.
Expected Lineup (4-2-3-1): Rico; Coke, Rami, Kolodziejczak, Tremoulinas; Na Zonzi, Krychowiak; Reyes, Vitolo, Iborra; Gameiro.
- While City have lost both of their last two matches against Spanish opponents, Sevilla themselves have not fared too well on their away trips to England. The Spanish side have been unable to win any of their last three matches on English soil.
- Sergio Aguero knows his Spanish opponents well, and that is reiterated by the fact that he has scored in all of City’s last three home games against teams from La Liga. The Argentine’s absence would surely be felt by the Citizens.
- City are yet to win a single point from a home game, in this season’s Champions League.
- One interesting sub-plot in this story is the fact that Jesus Navas, who had made 393 appearances for Sevilla, finds himself facing the club, where he was an academy player, and later, went on to be a cult hero.
- Sevilla manager Unai Emery has a bit of a score to settle with Manuel Pellegrini, from the latter’s days in the La Liga, as the now Man City manager has been able to win one more game, in their head-to-head record. The current head-to-head record between Pellegrini and Emery reads as a 4-3 victory in the Chilean’s favour, with two matches ending as draws.
Player to watch out for:
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
There has been some grumbling from Yaya Toure’s side, that his contribution in the City setup is not as heavily acknowledged as perhaps that of the Agueros and the Silvas, but Pellegrini knows who his best players are, and has stuck to his top guns. The Ivorian can power through just about any midfield, on his day, and City would be looking to his lanky frame, more than ever, in the absence of Aguero, to make the surging runs, and earn them their first three points in the Champions League, this season.
Manchester City 2-2 Sevilla FC
Although City have been on a good run of form domestically, they have been poor in Europe, and the absence of the likes of Aguero and Silva could go on to hit them hard, where it hurts most. Of course they have had good results against the likes Bournemouth, but Sevilla are a completely different proposition.