Match Coverage

Predicted Manchester City XI vs. Celtic (Champions League): Nolito to return

‘The Battle of Britain’ some have coined it – Celtic v Manchester City, as City play a Scottish team in an official fixture for the first time in the club’s 136 year history. Some to seem to think that tomorrow night’s game at Celtic Park could be something of a walkover, but I’m not convinced, I think we’re in for a really tight game. It sounds cliché, but the Celtic fans have a massive part to play tomorrow night. Pep’s City haven’t played in a really hostile stadium yet, so this should be a massive test.

Team News

There’s some good news. In his press conference today, Guardiola confirmed that De Bruyne should only be out for the next “2 and a half, maybe three weeks (maximum)” with his hamstring injury, which is a real boost. Should his recovery take that long, KDB will be pushing to be available for the crunch game with Barcelona at the Camp Nou on 19th October. Pep also gave an identical recovery time for our captain, Vincent Kompany who’s back on that treatment table, this time with a groin injury. Those of you who listen to the City Watch podcast will know my views on Kompany (I think he’s done, unfortunately), but it’s good to hear his injury is less serious than was initially reported.

The only other injury news is that Fabian Delph is still out injured (shock), and hasn’t travelled with the squad to Glasgow. Aleix Garcia won’t be involved tomorrow as he’s ineligible in the Champions League as he can’t yet be included on our List B with the likes of Angelino and Maffeo, who have both travelled to Scotland.

Selection dilemmas:

De Bruyne’s injury means that Silva and Gündogan are absolute shoe-in’s to start in those two central attacking midfield positions. Silva played the full 90 on his comeback from injury against Swansea and should be good for a start here too. My only concern moving forward is that both he and Gündogan may have to play three games in 8 days with Spurs next, but that’s an issue for the following game. Like Agüero, Nolito will be available again as his suspension only applies to domestic fixtures – so expect him to take-up his usual left-wing berth.

The only real question mark I think, is whether Pep opts for Zabaleta and Clichy at full-back or whether he goes with his preferred pairing of Sagna and Kolarov. With such a big game at the weekend, against the league’s 2nd placed side I think Guardiola will rotate at least one of the full-back positions, but which exactly I’m not sure.

With all that in mind, here’s the team I think Pep will go for:

squad (4)

What do you think City’s team will be? Use our Squad Selector to put together your ideal starting XI!

Note: This Squad Selector is updated weekly, and thus only contains players who are available for this fixture. Check out our full Squad Selector for an extended version.

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