Manchester City vs Celtic Preview: Guardiola's men look to finish in style

Manchester City vs Celtic Preview: Guardiola's men look to finish in style

Manchester City take on the Scottish champions in the final group game of the Champions League.

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Joe Doherty

Manchester City face Celtic in the final game of the Champions League group stage, which has been already pretty much decided for both sides.

After a hotly contested 3-3 draw in Glasgow, in which Manchester City came from behind three times, there will be a lot of expectation going into this game.

Sterling will miss City's final group game

Manchester City come into this game following a 3-1 home defeat by table topping Chelsea and with some tough fixtures coming up, Pep Guardiola's side will have to improve in the next month when they face the likes of Arsenal and Liverpoolin what could potentially be title deciding games. 

Aguero is sent off at the weekend after a reckless challenge on David Luiz. Photo: Chris Brunskill/Getty
Aguero is sent off at the weekend after a reckless challenge on David Luiz. Photo: Chris Brunskill/Getty

However, tonight is likely to be a very different starting eleven from the weekend. Fernandinho is already missing this game following his controversial red card in Monchengladbach. In addition to this, as Sergio Aguero is missing the next four games in the Premier League following his dismissal at the weekend, it is a distinct possiblity that Guardiola will change his original mind and play him up front. Raheem Sterling missed training on Monday, so is unlikely to feature.

Celtic on the other hand come into this game following an exciting 4-3 comeback win away at Motherwell at the weekend. Leigh Griffiths and Erik Sviatchenko are back following injuries ruling them out of the Motherwell victory, whilst former City winger Scott Sinclair and Kieren Tierney are still injured. Patrick Roberts however, who is on loan from City, is available for selection.

Roberts playing for Celtic on loan. Photo: Ian McDowell/Getty
Roberts playing for Celtic on loan. Photo: Ian McNicol/Getty

Guardiola said he would prefer to finish 'first' in the group

"I would prefer to finish first, I don't know why but I prefer to. It's more for the club because you won more games." Said Guardiola in his pre-match press conference.

The Spaniard also added, "But from my experience in the Champions League, it is how you are playing in February."

"Now the draw is going to be on Monday and we will analyse the team and say who are the favourites to go to the next round, said the 45-year-old.

"But many things are going to happen before we get to February."

Rodgers is 'proud' of his players despite exiting the competition

Brendan Rodgers will have been hoping for a better showing in this year's competition but admitted he wasn't too disheartened with his side.

Rodgers addressed the media before Celtic's final European game. Photo: Paul Ellis/Getty
Rodgers addressed the media before Celtic's final European game. Photo: Paul Ellis/Getty

"We're disappointed not to have brought it down to last game but I'm proud of the players and how they have taken on the challenge of such a difficult group," said the Celtic boss.

"Hopefully we've shown that we've improved as the games have gone on," added the former-Liverpool coach..

"I don't see it as an end, it's another opportunity for us to learn and to take that experience into next season's competition."

Predicted line ups

Man City: Caballero, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Adarabioyo, Clichy, Navas, Toure, Fernando, Sane, Ihenacho, Aguero.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Sviatchenko, Toure, Izaguirre, Brown, Biton, Roberts, Rogic, Griffiths, Dembele

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