Manchester City vs Sevilla
Etihad Stadium plays host to Manchester City’s final Champions League Group G encounter against Europa League specialists Sevilla.
Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick masterpiece fired Manchester City to a hard-fought 1-0 win at Leicester City last weekend, keeping them within touching distance of Premier League leaders Arsenal. City’s furious three-game winning start to Champions League Group G proved enough to catapult them into the knockout stages, yet it had unwanted side effects. Pep Guardiola’s men have since played out back-to-back scoreless draws with Copenhagen and Borussia Dortmund, doing so for the first time in the club’s continental history. Guardiola holds a personal grudge against Sevilla, as witnessed by his eye-catching 13-game managerial record versus the Andalusian powerhouse (W9, D2, L2), with his sides averaging 2.5 goals per match against them. Adding to the hosts’ burgeoning confidence, they’ve won 81% of their home outings in the Champions League group stages under Guardiola (26/32).
In the meantime, three unanswered second-half goals fired Sevilla to a 3-0 home win over Copenhagen last time out, yet it was too little too late for Jorge Sampaoli’s team. An abysmal four-game winless Group G start (D2, D2) has taken its toll, forcing ‘Los Rojiblancos’ to continue their continental journey in their beloved Europa League. But the Spaniards will be keen to bow out of the Champions League in style by arresting an underwhelming six-game winless away run in the competition (D5, L1). To do so, Sevilla will have to defy a disastrous seven-game winless streak against English clubs in the Champions League group phase (D3, L4), including a brace of 4-0 defeats at the hands of Chelsea and Man City in the last two such fixtures.