13 December 2018
Manchester City welcome TSG Hoffenheim to the Etihad Stadium looking to bounce back from a 2-0 Premier League loss to Chelsea during the weekend.
With a record of three wins, one draw, and one loss after their opening five European encounters, the reigning Premier League champions are the only team in Group F to advance to the round of 16. Although the Citizens won’t have to fear for their place in the Champions League knockout stage, Pep Guardiola would like to see his players end a frustrating four-game run in which they’ve conceded a minimum of one goal per match. What’s more, apart from a two-league clash with Shakhtar Donets in which they’ve scored nine goals and protected Ederson’s goal, the English giants have struggled to keep a clean sheet in their remaining three European meetings. However, their tally of 14 goals scored so far is comfortably Champions League high, with the Citizens scoring a minimum of two goals per match in their last four CL outings.
Meanwhile, the visitors have already lost all chances of reaching the Champions League knockout stage, but they have an opportunity to prolong their European journey this season. In spite of being the only team in Group F that has failed to secure all three points after the opening five rounds, Die Kraichgauer could still advance to the Europa League round of 16 if they manage to beat the Citizens and Lyon leave Ukraine unbeaten. Although winless in Europe this campaign, Julian Nagelsmann’s players have offered entertaining and attractive football so far, averaging 4.4 goals per match. While conceding a minimum of two goals in each of their five Champions League outings, Hoffenheim have scored at least two goals per game four times during the run, which is an absolute record in Europe’s top club competition this term.
Provisional line-up – Manchester City:
Gk: Ederson Defense: Stones – Laporte – Delph – Walker Midfield: Fernandinho – Foden – Bernardo Silva Attack: Mahrez – Sane – Gabriel Jesus
Provisional line-up – TSG Hoffenheim:
Gk: Baumann Defense: Hubner – Bicakcic – Schulz – Kaderabek Midfield: Vogt – Demirbay – Zuber Attack: Kramaric – Bittencourt – Grillitsch
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