Manchester City will want to keep their undefeated record in Group G of the Champions League when they host Sevilla at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
As group winners, the Citizens have already qualified for the last 16, while the visitors will enter the Europa League knockout stages after finishing third.
Manchester City are one of only five teams in this season’s Champions League who are yet to lose in the group stage, with victories in their first three matches followed by successive goalless draws against Copenhagen and Borussia Dortmund.
Indeed, a 0-0 stalemate away against Dortmund last week – which saw Riyad Mahrez miss another penalty kick – was enough to secure top spot in Group G for Pep Guardiola’s side as well as help their German counterparts qualify as runners-up, and both sides will discover their fate in the last 16 when the draw is made on November 7.
City returned to winning ways in the Premier League, without the presence of injured goal machine Erling Braut Haaland, when they secured a slender 1-0 away victory against Leicester City on Saturday, courtesy of a stunning Kevin De Bruyne free kick early in the second half.
City will be confident of success again on Wednesday as they have won 81% of their Champions League home games since Guardiola took charge in 2016, the highest home win percentage in the competition’s history after at least 20 games under the same manager.
After losing 3-1 in La Liga away at Real Madrid, Los Rojiblancos secured a 3-0 home win in the Champions League against Copenhagen last week, but that result was followed by a 1-0 league defeat just four days later at home to Rayo Vallecano.
With just 10 points accumulated from their first 12 La Liga matches, Sevilla have subsequently slipped into the relegation zone, an unthinkable position for a side who have finished fourth in each of the previous three seasons.
Los Rojiblancos now briefly turn their attention away from domestic action as they prepare for their final Champions League fixture, with Sampaoli’s side aware that they cannot finish any higher than third place in Group G as Dortmund have a better head-to-head record.
A return to the Europa League is in store for the six-time champions, who could do with a morale-boosting triumph over Man City on Wednesday ahead of the Seville derby against rivals Real Betis this weekend.
However, success at the Etihad Stadium could prove challenging for Sevilla as they have lost all three previous meetings with the Citizens and have failed to win any of their last six away matches in the Champions League, including five draws and one defeat.
Possible starting lineup:
|Cancelo, Joao||Telles, Alex|
|Dias, Ruben||Nianzou, Tanguy|
|Akanji, Manuel||Carmona, Jose|
|Ake, Nathan||Navas, Jesus|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Isco|
|Silva, Bernardo||Lamela, Erik|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Jordan, Joan|
|Foden, Phil||Rakitic, Ivan|
|Grealish, Jack||En-Nesyri, Youssef|
Man City = 64.6%
Draw = 19.4%
Sevilla = 16.0%
Man City 2-1 Sevilla
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