Manchester City vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Preview: Injury-hit Blues look to seal top spot
(Photo by Tom Flathers/Man City via Getty Images)

Manchester City vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Preview: Injury-hit Blues look to seal top spot

Manchester City will face Hoffenheim in their final Champions League group stage game, here’s everything you need to know ahead of the encounter.

Josh Slinger

Manchester City will face TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening, hoping to round off an impressive UEFA Champions League group stage display.

City have endured many injuries as of late, and have a smaller squad to work with, although changes are expected from Pep Guardiola’s side. 

Citizens already through 

City have already qualified for the round of 16, and need just a point to be absolutely certain of topping the group. 

As a result of this, changes are expected, handing possible chances for youngsters to get experience under their belts. 

Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Danilo, David Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo all feature on City’s enormous injury list, and won’t be available for this matchup. 

Phil Foden signed a new contract this week and could be rewarded with a start on Wednesday night. Guardiola has spoken further about the youngster in his press conference. 

"I’m delighted," he started. "I would have been happy for Jadon (Sancho) to stay here, and Brahim (Diaz), that was our wish."

The Spaniard then went into further detail about Foden, "We believe Phil Foden is something unique like Jadon and Brahim. We’re going to help him be a better player and he’s going to help us be a better team.” 

Before capping off talk of the young talent by saying, “He's an incredible player, a Manchester City fan, so it’s a perfect deal. Congratulations to the club and himself."

Man City predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; Delph, B. Silva, Foden; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling. 

Hoffenheim push for Europa 

This game will mark a disappointing end to the Champions League for Hoffenheim, who were out of their depth in this group. 

The German side could still qualify for the UEFA Europa League, should they win and Shakhtar Donetsk lose to Olympique Lyonnais, as they would then sit third in the group. 

This game consequently has more at stake for them than it does City, as staying in European competition is a huge money-maker nowadays, meaning Guardiola and his men can expect Julian Nagelsmann’s team to arrive at the Etihad in a competitive spirit. 

Hoffenheim predicted XI: Baumann; Bicakcic, Vogt, Hübner, Kaderabek; Zuber, Demirbay, Schulz; Kramaric; Belfodil, Joelinton.

Citizens clear favourites 

There is no doubting that even with their injury woes, the home side are clear favourites for this one. 

Guardiola’s men lost their first game of the season in the Premier League this weekend away at Chelsea, and will, therefore, will be looking to bounce back. 

Hoffenheim have won just one out of their last six, and are winless in the Champions League all campaign, accumulating three draws and two losses from their five fixtures. 

When these sides met in the reverse tie in Germany, City did struggle, although showed their class at the death as David Silva scored late to secure a 2-1 win for the champions of England. 

This matchup may not be the most attractive game ahead of the matchday six fixtures, although is an important one as both sides at either end of the group still have something to play for.