Pep Guardiola&aposs side finally got their hands on the iconic trophy in June after beating Inter Milan 1-0. That glorious night in Istanbul capped off a historic campaign in which they won the treble.
Despite this evening&aposs game looking fairly comfortable on paper, Guardiola knows it will be anything but. And City fans seem to agree, picking a full-strength side despite the short turnaround from Saturday&aposs win at West Ham.
One change from the weekend sees Matheus Nunes come in for a first start at City. The Portuguese midfielder arrived in a 53million deal from Wolves on deadline day.
He was handed a debut with 23 minutes off the bench at the London Stadium on Saturday and has been backed by fans to start this evening. Guardiola is relatively short of options in midfield due to a number of injuries, and the boss has been tipped to stick with the consistency of Rodri and Bernardo Silva to complete the trio.
Nunes&apos introduction will see Julian Alvarez rested after starting every available game so far. The Argentinian has been in outstanding form but must see his minutes managed after Guardiola claimed he was almost undroppable on Saturday, with Phil Foden and Jeremy Doku starting either side of Erling Haaland.
Doku has enjoyed an excellent start to life at City since arriving from Rennes in the summer, and the Belgian winger netted his first goal with a wonderful effort on Saturday. Haaland got his goal in the end but has been uncharacteristically wasteful thus far – albeit he still has seven goals in five games.
At the back, supporters have urged Guardiola to make one change from the back-four that started against West Ham. Josko Gvardiol looked to be striking up a strong relationship with Doku on the left and the Croatian has been backed to hold his place.
Kyle Walker has also kept his place at right-back after an excellent start to the season, with Ruben Dias an ever-present in central defence. He could have a different partner for tonight&aposs game, with fans dropping Manuel Akanji for Nathan Ake. Ederson, as ever, will start in goal.
Having claimed their first Champions League crown last season, Manchester City are on a new mission – to clinch back-to-back European titles!
Blues fans wont forget that magical night in Istanbul, but the slate is wiped clean now as Pep Guardiola and his men look to build a dynasty in the competition.
Our special preview of Citys 2023/24 Champions League campaign provides the ultimate guide to the tournament.