A much-changed Manchester City side will take on Sevilla in their final Group G match, with qualification into the Champions League round-of-16 already secured.
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It may not have been the most entertaining match away to Borussia Dortmund, but City’s goalless draw away to the German giants ensured progression into the Champions League knockouts as group winners.
As Champions League groups are decided on head-to-head records before goal difference, City can afford a defeat on Wednesday night against Sevilla and still finish on top of Group F.
Still unbeaten in the Champions League this season, an imperious start to the campaign saw City cruise to three victories from three against all of Sevilla, Dortmund and FC Copenhagen.
However, back-to-back goalless draws, including last week’s stalemate at the Signal Iduna Park have stunted City’s 100% record in this competition, with some questions raised over Pep Guardiola’s side.
Up until the weekend victory over Leicester City in the Premier League, City had failed to score in each of their last three away fixtures across all competitions.
While mitigating circumstances may have been to blame in each of those three outings, difficulty finding the net has never been something City have struggled with under Guardiola.
What’s more, the recent injury concern surrounding star striker Erling Haaland has poised another attacking problem for City, with the Norwegian sitting out Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Leicester.
Speaking after the weekend’s win, City boss Guardiola confirmed Haaland would sit the mid-week clash against Sevilla out, but not necessarily for fitness reasons.
With the group already wrapped up, Guardiola revealed he would’ve kept Haaland out of the firing line for Wednesday’s match-up.
Haaland is unlikely to be the only City absentee, as a much-changed Blues outfit are expected to take to the field at the Etihad Staidum in mid-week.
Key players like João Cancelo, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva are not likely to see much game time against Sevilla, as Guardiola looks to rotate his side ahead of the World Cup break.
Moreover, injuries to England duo Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips will keep them out of the squad, whereas youngster Cole Palmer is a doubt after missing the weekend match.
So, who will feature? Well, with Haaland out of the side, City’s attack will likely focus on fellow summer singing Julián Álvarez, who has deputised in the Norwegian’s absence this season.
Boasting just one goal in the Champions League to his name, Wednesday’s fixture represents the ideal opportunity for Álvarez to boost his returns ahead of the World Cup.
Elsewhere, Stefan Ortega, as he did against Dortmund, will likely start between the sticks for City, with Ederson handed another mid-week rest.
There could also be minutes from the start for fullback pair Josh Wilson-Esbrand and Rico Lewis, who have mainly featured off the bench for the Blues this season.
Despite the changes, City still boast the firepower needed to blow Sevilla away and a comfortable evening at the Etihad Stadium is expected for Guardiola’s side.