Midfielder Gundogan has been out for five weeks with a hamstring problem and defender Otamendi has not played since the win over Shakhtar on 23 October. Ilkay Gundogan and Nicolas Otamendi are included in Manchester City’s squad for Wednesday’s Champions League game at home to Shakhtar Donetsk after recovering from their injuries.
Kevin de Bruyne and Eliaquim Mangala are the only squad players unavailable. A win, coupled with a loss for Hoffenheim, would see City progress. Despite winning 3-0 at Shakhtar two weeks ago, City manager Pep Guardiola says he is treating Wednesday’s Champions League group encounter at the Etihad Stadium as “a final”.
“Every game is important, and you have to evaluate,” he said. “Shakhtar is the most important because it’s the first one. After dropping points against Lyon every game is a final. “We have a chance to step into next round, then we have three or four days to think about Manchester United [on Sunday].”
‘City have the best opportunity of the English sides’
Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis, Gracenote:
“Manchester City have a 98.6% chance of reaching the Champions League‘s last 16 according to the Euro Club Index – the highest of the four English clubs after three matches.
“Although none are yet mathematically through, it is reasonable at this stage to expect to see City in the knockout phase along with Barcelona, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.
“All six have around 99% or higher chance of playing in the last 16 when the competition returns from its break.”
- City have won two of their three Champions League encounters with Shakhtar Donetsk, losing the other in December 2017.
- Shakhtar have never won an away European match in England in seven attempts (W0 D1 L6) – in their most recent game there, they lost 0-2 to City.
- Shakhtar faced 24 shots in their 0-3 defeat to City, the most they had faced in a Champions League game since September 2015 against Real Madrid (26).
- City have lost their last three home Champions League games, all in 2018 and all by the same scoreline – 1-2 against Basel, Liverpool and Lyon.
- Should City lose against Shakhtar, they will be the first English side in the history of the European football elite competition to lose four consecutive home matches – the only other side to lose three in a row are Spurs in November 2016.
- De Bruyne has assisted six goals in his last 12 Champions League appearances for City, including one against Shakhtar in October – all assists have been for different players (David Silva, John Stones, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Gundogan and Aymeric Laporte).
- Since his Champions League debut for City in September 2011, only striker Sergio Aguero (33) has been involved in more goals for the club than Silva (15, seven goals, eight assists).
- Shakhtar have lost seven of their last nine away Champions League matches (W1 D1), though they avoided defeat in their last away game at Lyon, drawing 2-2.
- Ukrainian sides have never won in England in 28 attempts in European competition (W0 D6 L22) – the last team to avoid defeat were Dynamo Kiev in March 2016 at the Etihad against City, a 0-0 draw.
- Twenty-one of Shakhtar’s last 22 away Champions League goals have been scored by Brazilian players; the last Brazilian to score at the Etihad against City in the competition was Roberto Firmino for Liverpool in April 2018.
Source: BBC News