Manchester City will travel to Spain in a bid for a fresh start as they are scheduled to face Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

On the back of a monotonous draw against Aston Villa, Manchester City will be looking for momentum when they take on Sevilla in their first group stage clash in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

Despite their sheer domination in the domestic competitions, Pep Guardiola’s side has surprisingly failed to make it count on the bigger stage, and the manager would be very keen to break the hoodoo this time.

Sevilla’s form has been poles apart as the Andalusian giants have lost three matches in La Liga, and they are crying for some positive output this term. A win over Manchester City could set the tone for the remainder of the season.

Manchester City’s near perfect start to the season has started to evaporate away as they have now lost points in two games. But given Sevilla’s recent form, they should return with full points from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

The likes of Erling Haaland would be licking his chops as Sevilla’s defence has conceded eight goals so far in the Spanish top flight and Haaland should not have any issue taking his Premier League form to Europe.

Manchester City have never been eliminated from the group stage under the tutelage of Guardiola, and they averaged three goals per game in the last season. Their quest for glory in the Champions League has still eluded them, but Sevilla are unlikely to pose any threat to their European hopes as it stands.

Team News and Tactics

Sevilla

Sevilla have not really recovered from the departures of Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos this past summer as these two stalwarts were the mainstay in their backline. Marcao and Karim Rekik’s injuries further have bulldozed their chances, while Jesus Corona is likely to remain on the sidelines after fracturing his fibula.

Adnan Januzaj is yet to make his debut for his Sevilla since arriving on a free transfer. The former Manchester United winger is uncertain, and it remains to be seen whether Julen Lopetegui will decide to unleash the Belgian against Manchester City.

Bono is way ahead in the pecking order, and he should be in the goal for Sevilla against Manchester City. The makeshift defence of Tanguy Nianzou and Fernando should be stationed at the heart of the defence, and they will be flanked by Marcos Acuna and Jesus Navas, who is likely to get a recall to the starting lineup.

Nemanja Gudelj should make the way for Thomas Delaney, who is expected to operate from the base of the midfield. The Dane will line up alongside Ivan Rakitic and Joan Jordan in a midfield three, and the onus will be on them to win the battle in the middle of the pitch.

The shameful loss to Barcelona should see some reshuffling in the attacking contingent too, and Papu Gomez is slated for a start on the left wing. He will be accompanied by Erik Lamela on the other flank, while Youssef En-Nesyri will spearhead the Sevilla attack against Manchester City.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Bono; Navas, Fernando, Nianzou Acuna; Jordan, Delaney, Rakitic; Lamela, En-Nesyri, Gomez

Sevilla lineup

Manchester City

Except for Aymeric Laporte, who has already been ruled out for a more extended period, Pep Guardiola does not have any fresh injury concerns. Kyle Walker hobbled off the pitch in the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa.

In case Walker does not make it to the clash, Nathan Ake will slot in the left-back position while the ever-present Joao Cancelo will move to the right-hand side. John Stones and Ruben Dias will continue to be the preferred pair at the heart of the Manchester City defence.

Rodri will be the deepest midfielder, while Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan will offer more dynamism in the midfield. Guardiola could freshen up things up front, and both Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish could see themselves up against the Sevilla defence.

Erling Haaland has already announced his arrival in style, and the gigantic Norwegian will be ready to switch on UEFA Champions League form.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Ake; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish

Manchester city lineup

Key Stats

  • Sevilla’s only win in the Champions League group stage against English opponents came against Arsenal as the Spanish side has a pretty pathetic record in European competition winning just one match out of eight.
  • Manchester City’s poor away record against Spanish teams could be a matter of concern as they have managed just three victories in 13 matches so far.
  • Manchester City lost two of their three away games in last season’s UEFA Champions League group stage (W1); they had only lost one of their previous 13 away group games in the competition before this (W8 D4).
  • Sevilla have qualified for the UEFA Champions League for a third successive campaign; they are unbeaten on Matchday 1 in each of their last six appearances in the competition (W2 D4), although each of their last four openers have been drawn, including twice against English sides (2-2 v Liverpool in 2017/18, 0-0 v Chelsea in 2020/21).
  • Ivan Rakitic has been directly involved in four of Sevilla’s last six UEFA Champions League goals (two goals, two assists). The Croat last season became the club’s oldest ever scorer in the competition, at the age of 33 years and 203 days when he netted against Wolfsburg.

Player to Watch

Erling Haaland

Embed from Getty Images

Sevilla are aware of Erling Haaland’s brutal record in the UEFA Champions League, and there could be a separate plan in place to get the Manchester City striker blocked from what he has been doing this season.

The 22-year-old has sheer pace and could wreak havoc in the opponent’s defensive ranks on his day. Haaland has already reached double figures in his first Premier League campaign, and Pep Guardiola will be banking on him heavily to fulfil his Champions League dream.

Prediction

Sevilla 0-3 Manchester City

Manchester City have enough creative player to bulldoze Sevilla, and following a battling draw with Aston Villa, the visitors will be up for a statement victory over the Spanish team. Sevilla are still reeling from the 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona on Sunday, and their torn backline won’t be able to withstand the Manchester City attack. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-0 win for the visitors.

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