MX23RW : Saturday, November 10 00:12:44
Nov 7, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 52,286
Man CityManchester City
ShakhtarShakhtar Donetsk
Silva (13'), Jesus (24' pen., 72' pen., 90'), Sterling (49'), Mahrez (84')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Preview: Manchester City vs. Shakhtar Donetsk - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Champions League clash between Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Manchester City head into their Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night looking for the victory which would put Pep Guardiola's side on the brink of qualification for the knockout stages.

The Ukrainian outfit make the trip to the Etihad Stadium without a win in three matches, and Paulo Fonseca's team cannot afford to suffer defeat in the North-West of England.

Manchester City

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on September 29, 2018© Reuters

Manchester City have moved themselves closer to being regarded in the same bracket as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus over the past 15 months, but their opening defeat at home to Lyon suggested that the club may have been overawed by being given the tag as favourites for this competition.

There were signs of complacency at both ends of the pitch and a fresh-looking Lyon side deserved their win at the Etihad Stadium, but that result has only triggered a response which will concern clubs on both the domestic and European scene.

City have put together a 10-game unbeaten streak - with their only failure to record a win during that period coming in a goalless draw at Liverpool - but Guardiola's team have indicated that they are ready to once again become the juggernaut which powered to last season's league title.

Guardiola has had to make do without Kevin De Bruyne for much of the campaign due to knee problems, but each of the other members of the squad are playing their part in what could turn out to be another hugely successful season.

City cannot afford to get ahead of themselves with the games continuing to come thick and fast, but with Aymeric Laporte proving to be an invaluable addition at the back and the club's attacking contingent all beginning to click into gear, it is difficult to predict when City will next be stopped.

Raheem Sterling is yet to contribute a goal or assist in 241 minutes in Europe this season, but the winger has been superb in the top flight with six goals and five assists coming from just nine starts.

Sergio Aguero has not made a contribution in any of the more high-profile matches this season, but the Argentine has still managed eight goals from his 13 outings in all competitions.

The defence are matching their efforts at the back with just one goal being conceded from open play in 900 minutes of football, and everything is pointing to City repeating their convincing performance in Ukraine two weeks ago.

Recent form: LWW
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWWW

Shakhtar Donetsk

Paulo Fonseca at a Shakhtar Donetsk press conference on October 22, 2018© Reuters

Fonseca has established himself as one of the most sought-after managers in European football during his time at Shakhtar, but the 45-year-old has a major job on his hands in order to prevent his side from suffering an early Champions League exit.

A 2-2 draw at home to Hoffenheim set the tone for the first half of the campaign, and although there were positives to take from achieving the same scoreline at Lyon, losing heavily to City last month has left the club at the bottom of Group F.

Shakhtar still have the opportunity to turn things around, but Fonseca would have been banking on his players delivering at the Metalist Stadium and that is not how things have panned out.

Fonseca will feel that his team can play without pressure given their status as huge underdogs at the Etihad Stadium, but the Portuguese will also be fearful of another poor outing at the back with seven goals having already been conceded in this competition.

Shakhtar have found some consistency in Ukraine's top flight with 12 wins and just one defeat coming from 14 matches, although you cannot dismiss the fact that three goals have been shipped over the past week.

There is a positive mood in the camp due to the comeback win over rivals Dynamo Kiev at the weekend, but Fonseca will be aware that he will mainly be judged on how the club fares in Europe.

Moraes will be Shakhtar's man to watch on Wednesday evening, with the 31-year-old Brazilian having netted 13 goals from 18 matches this season, but Guardiola will warn his team to be wary of a side who can still create from a number of areas despite the summer exits of Fred, Bernard and Facundo Ferreyra.

Shakhtar are up against it on Wednesday and the fact that Fonseca has already used 19 players in three Champions League matches suggests that he does not know his best team, but it should not be forgotten how close that this club came to reaching the last eight of this competition last season, with Roma only edging past them on away goals.

Recent form: DDL
Recent form (all competitions): DWLWWW

Team News

Gabriel Jesus in action for Manchester City on April 29, 2018© Reuters

Guardiola must decide whether to rest a number of his players ahead of the Manchester derby this weekend, and Gabriel Jesus will expect to find himself recalled to the starting lineup.

Danilo and Riyad Mahrez will also expect to feature, having remained as unused substitutes against Southampton, while Vincent Kompany could be drafted into the team for either John Stones or Laporte.

Nicolas Otamendi has been included in the squad after recovering from a muscular injury, and Ilkay Gundogan is also available after five weeks out with a hamstring problem.

Fonseca could decide to hand a recall to Taison, with the Brazilian having been introduced from the bench against Dynamo Kiev on Saturday.

Viktor Kovalenko is also a likely starter, having netted the winning goal shortly after being sent on by his manager.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Danilo, Stones, Kompany, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Delph; Mahrez, D.Silva, Sterling; Jesus

Shakhtar Donetsk possible starting lineup:
Pyatov; Matvyenko, Krivtsov, Rakitskiy, Ismaily; Stepanenko, Maycon; Taison, Kovalenko, Fernando; Moraes

Head To Head

Wednesday's fixture will represent the third competitive meeting between the clubs, with City registering two wins and Shakhtar claiming victory in the other match.

All three games have taken place since September 2017, with the home team prevailing in each of the two group stage contests last season.

The corresponding encounter in the last campaign ended in a 2-0 triumph for City, with De Bruyne and Sterling getting on the scoresheet.

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We say: Manchester City 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

City had few problems in seeing off Shakhtar in front of their own supporters last month, and we feel that it will be a similar story on Wednesday evening. Guardiola's team are beginning to play with a swagger again, and this should prove to be a comfortable 90 minutes.

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Fernandinho in action for Manchester City on September 1, 2018
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