Pep Guardiola’s Man City side begin the defence of their European crown at the Etihad Stadium against Crvena Zvevda (Red Star).
Whilst ensuring that all opponents are given maximum respect, the Catalan coach has hinted at how he sees the match unfolding by dropping man-of-the-match against West Ham at the weekend, Jeremy Doku, to the bench as well as rock-solid centre-back, Josko Gvardiol.
It’s a sign of the strength in depth that the current European and Premier League champions have when they can bench such talents and still field an incredibly strong starting XI.
Ederson starts in goal as usual with Sergio Gomez and Kyle Walker the wing-backs either side of a centre-back pairing of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias.
Your squad for tonight’s #UCL opener! ?
XI | Ederson, Walker (C), Dias, Ake, Gomez, Rodrigo, Bernardo, Nunes, Foden, Alvarez, Haaland
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 19, 2023
Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva and Matheus Nunes, the latter of whom made debut in the match at the London Stadium, make up a mobile and exciting midfield three, whilst the front three of Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland are virtually a guarantee of goals.
On current form City remain the best team on the continent, and the best that Red Star can hope for is that they’re still in the game midway through the first half.
If they allow the hosts to get on top in the opening exchanges, it could be a very long night for them indeed.