Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk preview: Benjamin Mendy faces fitness test
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 26/09/17 7:43pm
Manchester City will look to make it two wins from two Champions League group games when they host Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
City beat Feyenoord 4-0 in the Netherlands in their opening match of the competition and will be favourites to win again with the Ukrainian champions at the Etihad.
Pep Guardiola's side have scored 22 goals in their last five games - most recently beating Crystal Palace 5-0 on Saturday - and they have not lost a competitive match so far this season.
It sets up a fascinating clash with Shakhtar, who started their Champions League campaign with an impressive 2-1 victory over Napoli at home.
City midfielder Fernandinho spent eight years at Shakhtar and expects his old team to play on the front foot.
"We all know they play attacking football," Fernandinho told City's website. "There's a lot of Brazilian players in their squad.
"Every year they fight for the title over there and in the Champions League they try to play in the same way they play in their domestic league.
"We have to be prepared for that because they are a dangerous team. They're full of good players."
Guardiola added: "Every time I play Shakhtar, I have the same feeling. When I faced them first time my team went to see them and came back and said 'Wow'."
Benjamin Mendy will undergo a late fitness check to determine his availability after he limped off against Crystal Palace (knee).
Ilkay Gundogan has returned to light training following his injury against West Brom (knee), but Tuesday may come too soon for the Germany international.
Vincent Kompany is not ready (knock) for selection.
This is the first competitive encounter between City and Shakhtar.
No Ukrainian club has won an away game in the Champions League against English opposition (D2 L12). In fact, Shakhtar have lost all four of their trips to England in the competition.
Manchester City are unbeaten in their last nine Champions League home games (W6 D3), their longest run without a defeat on home soil in the competition. City's last defeat at the Etihad dates back to September 2015 against Juventus (1-2).
None of City's 37 Champions League group games have ended goalless.
This is 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 lost their last four away games in the Champions League, conceding 14 goals and scoring none.
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
I can only see a continuation of good news for City. Shakhtar are a decent side and will be happy to sit in and play on the counter-attack, but I think that suits City with David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne so good at unpicking the lock.
Leroy Sane is in stunning form and they've got Raheem Sterling scoring as well now, so for me they are looking like the best attacking side around. Pep Guardiola has that Barcelona feel flowing through them.
The full-backs are asked to join in and, while we know Kyle Walker isn't a £50m player, Benjamin Mendy is a serious player and is looking like he's going to be worth every bit of his fee.
We know they're still vulnerable at the back with Crystal Palace hitting the post at 0-0 on Saturday, but are Shakhtar really going to be willing to come out and have a go?
It says a lot about the edge that Pep has got that he came out and said they didn't actually play that well despite beating Palace 5-0 and I can see another night of free-flowing football.
Charlie predicts: 4-1 and Sergio Aguero to score first (22/1 with Sky Bet)
Guardiola's men are rated 11/1 joint fifth favourites to win the competition and are 1/4 to win Group F.
Sergio Aguero heads the first goalscorer betting at 9/4 while Gabriel Jesus is enhanced from 5/2 to 3/1 to bag a brace in Sky Bet's Price Boosts.