UEFA Women's Champions League - Zvezda 2005 vs Manchester City Preview: Can City reach the round of 16?
City hoping to progress to the round of 16 in their first Champions League campaign

UEFA Women's Champions League - Zvezda 2005 vs Manchester City Preview: Can City reach the round of 16?

After the league and cup double City are in fine form and will look to progress in the Champions League with a victory over Zvezda Perm.

Emily Magee

Manchester City face Zvezda Perm in Russia on Wednesday in the second leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League last-32 tie and they will certainly be hoping to continue their unbeaten run to progress in the competition. The Sky Blues head in to the away leg with a two goal cushion over their Russian opponents after goals from Jill Scott and Lucy Bronze gave Manchester City a 2-0 victory at the Academy Stadium last week.

Last time out 

Manchester City made history last week at the Academy Stadium, by competing in their first ever Women's Champions League campaign. And, City's debut was a successful one - Nick Cushing's side put on an impressive display against the Russian runners-up, taking a 2-0 advantage in to the second leg.

The Manchester side have had a successful campaign, clinching both the FA WSL 1 and Contintental Cup in the last two weeks and unsurprisingly they started off brightly in this competition as well.

Midfielder Jill Scott opened the scoring in the 34th minute, the England stalwart poked home a parried shot from goalkeeper Zvarych to mark the history books as City's first ever Champions League goalscorer. Lucy Bronze provided the assist for the opener after a trademark run down the left-flank, the full-back cut a low drive in to the near post which the Zvezda 'keeper could only push in to the path of the City player, capping off a fine few weeks for Bronze - after she scored the extra time winner in the Continental Cup Final.

Nick Cushing's side didn't have the ideal preparations he would have hoped for this match; after the Contintental Cup final went the full 120 minute stretch just a couple of days before and the City boss made two changes coming in to the first leg bringing in goalkeeper Marie Hourihan for Karen Bardsley and Nikita Parris made way for Kosovare Asllani. The former Paris Saint-Germain forward was a 2015 Champions League finalist with the French side, therefore bringing in a wealth of European experience for Newbies Manchester City.

But, it was Lucy Bronze who sealed the victory once again in injury time, smashing home a volley from the edge of the area in practically the last play of the game.

City look to seal victory

Speaking ahead of the second-leg clash, midfielder Jill Scott told BBC Sport that "Any team that you play is going to be difficult. The standard is always getting better across the board and hopefully we can contribute to that and stay in this competition."

Scott added: "We'll definitely go out to try and win and I believe with this squad of players we will do that.

Although, it looks as though Man City are on course to progress from the last-32 they will of course have to be aware of the threat Zvezda possess. The Russian team are a strong force at home and are experienced in European competition, having progressed to the last-16 in both of the past two seasons. 

However, an away goal for City on Wednesday at the Zvezda Stadium would leave the home side with a four goal mountain to climb if they hope to progress.

Predicted line-up: Bardsley; Stokes, Beattie, Houghton, Bronze; Walsh, Christiansen, Scott; Asllani, Duggan, Parris.