Shakhtar Donetsk v Man City preview: Pep Guardiola's side target 100 per cent group-stage record
Last Updated: 06/12/17 7:23pm
Manchester City will be looking to finish their Champions League group stage campaign with a 100 per cent winning record when they travel to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola's side are already guaranteed to top Group F, after beating Feyenoord 1-0 last time out, and could become the seventh side to win all six of their group matches in the competition, with Real Madrid the last side to do so in the 2014/15 campaign.
For their opponents, a draw would guarantee Shakhtar a place in the round of 16 and even a defeat would be enough for the Ukrainian side provided Napoli don't beat Feyenoord.
However, none of Shakhtar's last 12 games have ended in a draw (W4 L8), and they have kept only one clean sheet in that period.
Kevin De Bruyne is suspended after collecting three bookings while David Silva, who is not fully fit, has also stayed at home.
John Stones and Benjamin Mendy are both injured but youngsters Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz, Tosin Adarabioyo and goalkeeper Danny Grimshaw have been included.
Taison and Bohdan Butko are both injury doubts for Shakhtar.
This is the second competitive encounter between Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester City after the English team's 2-0 win at the Etihad in September.
This is Manchester City's seventh consecutive Champions League participation. They have made it past the round of 16 only once, it was in 2015/16 when they reached the semi-finals (knocked out by Real Madrid).
Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk have reached the knockout stages in three of their last six Champions League campaigns, their best performance dating back to 2010/11 (quarter-finalists).
Shakhtar have won their two home games in the Champions League so far this season, scoring also 2 goals in each of their last four outings on home soil.
Manchester City's 13 goals in the Champions League this season have either been scored in open play (8) or from a corner kick (5, the most in 2017/18).
Raheem Sterling has scored four goals in five Champions League appearances this season, already his most prolific campaign to date.
This will be Pep Guardiola's 100th Champions League game as manager, becoming the sixth to reach that landmark after Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Mircea Lucescu. He's won 61, drawn 23 and lost 15 of his previous 99 games, lifting the trophy on two occasions with Barcelona (2009, 2011).
Manchester City have been fabulous, breaking records in the league and their fitness has been incredible with how they keep the ball and pick teams off.
They are serious contenders for the Champions League, with them, PSG and Bayern Munich the favourites for me, but I do see an awkward result coming somewhere and Shakhtar are a decent side.
Pep Guardiola won't want to lose but he must have one eye on the Manchester derby and he won't want to risk Vincent Kompany, so I'd expect to see Eliaquim Mangala again and perhaps a couple of youngsters.
I think Napoli will get the result they need to put the pressure on and I think Shakhtar will get the result they need to get them through and end City's stunning unbeaten run.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 with Bernard to score first (35/1 with Sky Bet)
City are Sky Bet's 6/4 favourites for the victory with Shakhtar 2/1, while the draw is priced at 23/10. Guardiola's men are currently 9/2 second favourites to win the Champions League, with only PSG shorter odds at 7/2. Gabriel Jesus shares the first goalscoring favouritism betting at 9/2 alongside Sergio Aguero and is enhanced from 3/1 to 4/1 to score in a City win in Sky Bet's Price Boosts.