Preview: Manchester City vs Celtic

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will be targeting a return to winning ways when they welcome Scottish giants Celtic to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening.

UEFA Champions League

6 December 2016

Group stage

Kick-off 01:45 (HKT)

Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: Slavko Vincic

Assistants: Bojan Ul, Tomaz Klancnik

Fourth official: Jure Praprotnik

Head-to-head summary:


Man City 2 1 1 0

Celtic 2 0 1 1

Previous encounter:

Celtic 3-3 Manchester City (28/09/16)

Celtic goalscorers: M. Dembélé (3′, 47′), R. Sterling (20′ OG)

Man City goalscorers: Fernandinho (11′), R. Sterling (28′), Nolito (55′)

Players to watch:

Having played a key role in his side’s 3-3 draw with the Citizens last time out, Frenchman Moussa Dembélé will be targeting more of the same at the Etihad.

The 20-year-old is quickly making a name for himself in Europe, with 15 goals and three assists to his name in all competitions, and will undoubtedly be Celtic’s main attacking threat.

For the Citizens, as is usually the case, Sergio Aguero will be the man to watch on Tuesday evening.

However, there are lingering doubts over whether City boss Guardiola will hand a starting berth to the Argentine after his sending off for a studs-up challenge in the closing stages of his side’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

Guardiola could be tempted to hand a starting berth to back-up frontman Kelechi Iheanacho in anticipation of Aguero’s three-match absence through suspension.

#mcfc Instagram of the Day 867: Kun-gratulations #manchestercity #mancity

A photo posted by Manchester City (@mancity) on

Team form and manager quotes:

Celtic head into the midweek clash on the back of a thrilling 4-3 victory over Motherwell away from home at the weekend, extending their unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership to 14 games – a run that stretches back to May.

However, their Champions League campaign has not gone according to plan as they find themselves propping up Group C with just two points from five fixtures.

Be that as it may, Rodgers has called on his players to end their Champions League campaign on the front foot.

❄️ Brendan and the Bhoys in training at Lennoxtown ahead of #CityvCeltic! #COYBIG #UCL

A photo posted by Celtic FC (@celticfc) on

“Every challenge and every game for us has been different,” Rodgers told reporters. “It’s our last game in the Champions League so we want to go out on a high.”

The Citizens, meanwhile, occupy second spot in Group C, with their place in the knockout rounds of the competitions already confirmed.

Guardiola will ring the changes, but has not yet decided whether Aguero will play any part in the fixture.

He said: “I like all the players to play. I want to involve all the players. When we play every three days, the players must be rotated.

“There will be changes. I am happy to give minutes to players who deserve it.

“Whether Sergio will play, I will decide today or tomorrow.”

Team news:

Celtic have just two confirmed absentees, with Kieran Tierney (cruciate ligament) and Scott Sinclair (thigh) set to miss out.

For City, Vincent Kompany (knee) remains on the treatment table, while Raheem Sterling (knock) is rated doubtful.