Matheus Nunes and Jeremy Doku start in predicted Man City XI vs Crvena Zvezda
Manchester City kick off their Champions League defence with a home clash with Crvena Zvezda, also known as Red Star Belgrade, of Serbia on Tuesday.
The Blues are backed to go far in the competition again as they aim to become just the second side to defend the title since the competition was rebranded in 1992, Real Madrid currently being the only club to do so.
They go into the opening group clash without four players. Mateo Kovacic and Jack Grealish are nearing a return although won’t be available for Tuesday while John Stones remains sidelined with Kevin De Bruyne a long-term absentee.
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It presents an opportunity for other squad members to continue to impress in their wake, including Jeremy Doku. He scored his maiden Blues goal while on the left against West Ham on Saturday and could make a third successive start against Zvezda.
Erling Haaland will likely lead the line with Bernardo Silva on the right. The Portugal star scored and assisted at the weekend meaning he has provided four goal contributions in his last three games for club and country.
Meanwhile, Phil Foden could be given the nod to operate in his beloved No.10 position. The youngster is stepping up this season and has often dovetailed with Julian Alvarez in behind Haaland from the wing but could get the position all to himself on Tuesday.
It seems harsh to bench Alvarez but he would come on for Haaland, perhaps at half-time. Rodri would sit as an anchor, probably alongside Matheus Nunes, who made a classy debut as a substitute against West Ham.
His movement allowed Silva space to thread through his assist for Haaland