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How Man City should line up vs Crvena Zvezda in Champions League

Manchester City's Champions League defence begins on Tuesday at home to Serbian Champions Crvena Zvezda.

City finally won the Champions League last season and followed that up with a Super Cup win in Athens last month. The new Champions of Europe have ambitions to retain the title they have spent so long trying to win and have been handed a relatively straightforward group against Red Star, RB Leipzig and Young Boys.

Pep Guardiola will be without Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones for the Group G opener, while Mateo Kovacic and Jack Grealish have not recovered from their injuries in time to feature. Jeremy Doku could continue on the left after a brilliant performance against West Ham at the weekend.

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Guardiola called Julian Alvarez 'almost undroppable' after his two assists vs West Ham, while he has talked up the performances of Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva in recent outings.

Read how our writers think City should line up and use the interactive selector to pick your best starting XI:

Simon Bajkowski

Guardiola will want a strong team to pave the road for another Champions League qualification, and in truth there aren't many options given the injuries in the squad. As long as Jeremy Doku is fit enough to go through three games in a week, his performance at West Ham earned him another start.

Matheus Nunes looked bright again when he came on and can step in for Bernardo Silva, who seemed to play about eight positions at the weekend. More games to play should not see the end of Erling Haaland starting every league or Champions League game he is available for.

At the back,

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk