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Manchester City v Hoffenheim - Preview and possible lineups

Pin Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring against Bournemouth. EFE
Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring against Bournemouth. EFE

Manchester City v Hoffenheim - Preview and possible lineups

Elliot Turnbull by Elliot Turnbull @rfutbol - 1 1,708

We take a look ahead to Wednesday's Champions League Group F clash as Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side host Hoffenheim at the Etihad Stadium.


Manchester City: Nicolas Otamendi is set to return to the heart of defence, either in place of John Stones or Laporte, while Gabriel Jesus is also likely to be welcomed back in the absence of Aguero.

Guardiola may be forced to give younger Phil Foden, who recently signed a new long-term contract at the club, a Champions League start, with Guardiola's side suffering with injury. 

Hoffenheim: Bar the club's long-term absentees, Julian Nagelsmann has a fresh bill of health to choose from. 

Belfodil is expected to partner Joelinton upfront, with Kramaric making up the visitors' front three. 


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola on squad depth: 

"We have 15 players available, so I can’t do it too much (rotating). We are in the next stage which is important but we have to try and win every game to finish first.

"That stage is always tough, but in general the next Monday when there is a draw it's a success we are there.

"Hoffenheim were incredible against Shakhtar Donetsk and they lost [3-2 on 27 November]. It was incredible and fascinating to watch as a spectator.

"My admiration for them has increased. I knew about coach Julian Nagelsmann and his team, but now I realise how tough Wednesday will be."

Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann on qualification: 

"I am, of course, very happy to have scored in past games but I don't like to talk about my personal streak. We want to play well as a team and fight together. We want to show our best side.

"As an optimist, I can say that it'll be difficult to get third place. We don't have a lot to lose tomorrow, so we want to show the football that got us to the Champions League in the first place."


Did you know?

Man City came from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 on matchday two in what was the Bundesliga side's first home group game in the competition.

Even defeat may not stop City from coming out on top, though, as Lyon must win away at Shakhtar in the other Group F match on Wednesday to close the three-point gap.

The best Hoffenheim can hope for ahead of the final round of matches is a third-placed finish.

Possible lineups: 

Manchester City:
Ederson; Danilo, Otamendi, Laporte, Delph; Foden, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sane

Baumann; Bicakcic, Vogt, Hübner, Kaderabek; Zuber, Demirbay, Schulz; Kramaric; Belfodil, Joelinton

Elliot Turnbull

Elliot Turnbull

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