Manchester City can secure their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League with a victory over Copenhagen on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s team won the reverse fixture 5-0 last week and are heavy favourites to secure the win again here. But with a tricky meeting with Liverpool on the horizon, the boss will undoubtedly have some decisions to make when it comes to his team selection.
Here’s how Guardiola could set up.
GK: Ederson – The Brazilian will be expecting to secure his third clean sheet in four Champions League games this season.
RB: Rico Lewis – Joao Cancelo has been sensational recently and has likely earned a rest ahead of facing Liverpool. Guardiola has faith in Lewis and this is the perfect chance to prove it.
CB: Aymeric Laporte – As he continues his comeback from a knee injury, Laporte could benefit from another 90 quiet minutes.
CB: Ruben Dias – With a fair bit of rotation across his defence, Guardiola may opt to keep general Dias in the lineup.
LB: Sergio Gomez – Gomez’s young legs should have no problem dealing with the hectic fixture schedule, but don’t be surprised to see Josh Wilson-Esbrand off the bench.
DM: Rodri – Another who likely won’t play the full 90, Rodri is a key part of City’s build-up play.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – Gundogan wore the captain’s armband against Copenhagen last week and will likely repeat the honour here.
CM: Cole Palmer – Palmer played the second half against Copenhagen and could see more minutes this week to ensure Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne avoid any needless injuries.
RW: Julian Alvarez – Expect Alvarez to start out on the wing to make space for a certain somebody centrally,
ST: Erling Haaland – There will be one or two more goals for Haaland who, like he was last week, will surely be wrapped up in cotton wool at half-time.
LW: Jack Grealish – Grealish has been in good form for City recently and deserves the chance to maintain that momentum here.
How can I watch the 2022/23 Champions League last 16 draw?
So, the excitement of the group stage is over. Having witnessed some European powers breeze through their groups and others progress by the skin of their teeth, we can now look forward to the thrill and the ‘there’s nothing quite like it’-feeling of Champions League knockout football.
Here’s all you need to know about the Champions League round of 16.
The draw for the first round of this campaign’s Champions League knockout phase will take place on Monday 7 November at 11:00 (GMT).
How to watch the 2022/23 Champions League last 16 draw in the UK
How to watch the 2022/23 Champions League last 16 draw in the United States and Canada
The eight group winners and the eight second-placed sides will feature in the Champions League round of 16 stage.
All four English teams that entered the competition have made it through to the knockout phase, with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City joining Napoli, Porto, Bayern Munich, Benfica and reigning champions Real Madrid as the eight seeded sides.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are joined by Club Brugge, Inter, Eintracht Frankfurt, Milan, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain as the unseeded sides.
The table-toppers and runners-up will be drawn against each other – apart from those that competed in the same group and those from the same Associations.
We’ll be able to see these European heavyweights lock horns after the turn of the year, with the first legs set to be played over the 14 and 15 February, and the second legs over the 21 and 22.
We’ve got to get through a World Cup first, though.
Who could Tottenham face in the 2022.23 Champions League knockout stages?
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia: ‘My dream is to win the Champions League with Real Madrid’
Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who we rank among the strong competitors for Ballon d’Or next year, has stood up on his greatest dream.
In a meeting with Corriere dello Sport, Kvaratskhelia: “My biggest dream? To win the Champions League. With who? With Real Madrid.
“Since I was a kid, I was a Real Madrid fan. Always watched their games,” the winger added in the interview just before joining Napoli for just €10m from Dinamo Batumi.
The Georgian technician has registered as many as 8 goals and 10 assists in just 17 games for the Neapolitans this season.
It’s why many top clubs seem to have their sights set on the Georgian international. But the man of the moment only dreams of Real Madrid.
Source: Corriere dello Sport (h/t Total Cristiano @ Twitter)
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