Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City Champions League Preview 06/12/2017
EPL leaders Manchester City are away to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night in their final Champions League Group match.
City have already secured qualification to the last sixteen as Group winners. They also have a vital Manchester derby looming up on Sunday in the Premier League. All of this could lead to Pep Guardiola fielding a much-weakened side for this match.
Bookmakers are wise to this and have eased City out to around 2.5 with Shakhtar at 3.0 and the draw priced up at 3.75. David Silva picked up a knock in the 2-1 win over West Ham on Sunday and will miss the game. He is also considered doubtful for Sunday’s match at Old Trafford.
Kevin De Bruyne is serving a one match suspension so a much-changed midfield is guaranteed. Pep Twenty-year-old Phil Foden is a possible starter, as is £43million summer signing Bernardo Silva. Other possible contenders include Tosin Adarabioyo and Brahim Diaz. While these fringe players will be keen to make their mark, City are far from certain to take all three points from this game.
The home side need a draw to guarantee qualification for the last sixteen. Even a defeat could be enough, providing Napoli do not win the other group game against Feyenoord. With the latter yet to pick up a point, Shakhtar will want to leave nothing to chance.
They played well in the reverse fixture despite losing 2-0. They could be without the creativity of Taison on Wednesday but striker Facundo Ferreyra is a definite starter. The Argentine has already scored twenty goals in 26 appearances this season. He hit the target against both Napoli and Feyenoord and should have scored at the Etihad.
City have not been rolling over teams recently, even with a virtually fully-fit squad. Huddersfield, Southampton and West Ham all gave them significant problems. Their supporters will have been expecting to win those matches comfortably but they only did so with some nail-biting moments. Shakhtar are certainly more of a threat than all three of those sides and have plenty to play for. They have also won their previous two home games in the group.
This will be Pep Guardiola’s 100th Champions League game as a manager, joining an illustrious group that also contains Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho.
Champions League Betting Tips 06/12/2017
Shakhtar Donetsk to beat Manchester City @3.0 Ladbrokes