Manchester City will get their UEFA Champions League campaign underway on Wednesday when they host Olympique Lyonnais in a Group F encounter.
UEFA Champions League
Date: 19 September 2018
Game week 1
Kick-off: 20H00 local time/03H00 HKT (20 September)
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: D. Orsato
Assistants: L. Manganelli, F. Preti
Fourth official: G. Peretti
Players to watch
With Sergio Aguero expected to miss out, City will be looking to Gabriel Jesus to provide the cutting edge up front. The Brazilian has made a slow start with only one goal in six games but will be eager to make the most of his starting opportunity.
After sitting out Lyon’s last game, Memphis Depay should come back into the starting XI for the City clash. The Dutch winger has looked good so far this season, providing two assists and scoring one goal, and has the ability to cause problems for the hosts with his speed out wide on the left.
Team form and manager quotes
Pep Guardiola’s charges come into the clash on a good run of form having gone unbeaten in the Premier League so far this season. City beat Arsenal, Huddersfield, Newcastle, and most recently Fulham, but did drop points at Wolverhampton, where they drew 1-1.
City will not have Guardiola on the touchline for the game as he is banned. Assistant manager Mikel Arteta attended the pre-match press conference in his stead as well.
Asked about the high expectations on City, Arteta told the press: “I think the reason is how consistent we’ve been in the way we play and the way we play against big teams in this competition. It’s a very difficult competition and tomorrow I am sure will face a tough game again.
He added: “For me we have the best players in the world. I wouldn’t change my players for any others. They are absolutely fantastic, the mix between senior and younger players, it’s incredible. People talk about money and other things but they have to see what is inside this club, which is phenomenal.”
Meanwhile, Lyon have been inconsistent in Ligue 1 this season and will be hoping to find some form against City. The French side have won two, lost two, and drawn one of their five games.
Bruno Genesio’s team most recently drew 2-2 at Caen, after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home against Nice.
Asked if he is worried about the Champions League clash with City, Genesio told the press: “Ah yes, because Wednesday is still three or four levels above what we played tonight, without offending Caen, so if we have the same behaviour, it will be costly.”
This will be the first competitive game between Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais.
Aguero is expected to miss the clash after picking up a knock against Fulham, while Vincent Kompany should come back into the starting lineup.
Lyon are missing Amine Gouiri and Marcal, but Memphis Depay is expected to come back into the fray.