Wednesday, 28.09.2016, 20-45 CET, Group stage (Group C)
Venue: Celtic Park (60 411 capacity)
Weather Conditions: Cloudy with Sunny Intervals, temperature: 10c
Pitch: Superb Condition
Travel details: Plane from Manchester Airport to Glasgow Airport – around 65 minutes in the air.
Distance: 217 miles
Leigh Griffiths – Striker – Injured – Calf Injury – Last Played: 1/09/116
Dedryck Boyata – Centre Back – Injured –Thigh Problems — Last Played: 30/05/16
Since their 5-1 annihilation of main rivals Rangers, Celtic have been on a rocky road after a 7-0 dismantling by Barcelona when they last played in this competition at the Nou Camp on the 13th September. Although the Catalan side were strong favourites to win the Group C opening match, Brendan Rodgers and his side will be extremely disappointed with the final result, especially when this season’s talisman, Moussa Dembele, had a chance to make it 1-1 but missed from the penalty spot, leading to the game ending in an embarrassing score line from the Scottish Champion’s point of view, to say the least.
After the thrashing by Barcelona they were held to a 2-2 draw away from home, against fellow Scottish Premier League outfit, Inverness, a game that they were strong favourites having beat them Home and Away last season. One bright spark for The Hoops however has been the form of new summer signing, Scott Sinclair. The 27-year old has 5 goals and 3 assists in 5 games for Celtic since signing from Aston Villa on a four year deal in August. He has been a force to be reckoned with on the right side of Celtic’s attack, acting as creator for in-form Moussa Dembele, who signed from Fulham last month. Dembele scored his first professional hat-trick of his career against Rangers and has since been in good form, providing 3 assists for his team.
Star man and last season’s top goal scorer, Leigh Griffiths, is still out injured with a Calf Injury and without a doubt will be a huge miss against Manchester City, as he possesses the quality to open up defences of the highest standard. Celtic will be hoping that they can brush off the cobwebs off the 7-0 defeat in Spain and get back onto the winning track in the Champion’s League, with a victory over Manchester City, however it will be a struggle, as the Premier League side are in great form.
GAMBOA, LUSTIG, K TOURE, O’CONNELL
ROBERTS, BITTON, SINCLAIR
Bench (from): Gordon, Izzaguirre, Armstrong, Rogic, Sviatchenko, McGregor, Forrest.
Yaya Toure – No Eligibilty – Last Played: 29/05/16
Vincent Kompany – Injured – Calf Injury – 45% chance of playing
Manchester City have been in fine form since Pep Guardiola took to the reigns at the Etihad, winning his first 8 games in charge, including a magnificent tactical display, which he instrumented, against bitter rivals Manchester United. The acquisitions of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona and John Stones from Everton have proved priceless, both hitting the ground running and displaying commanding performances in City’s back line. Many punter’s favourites to win the Premier League title under Pep this season, one would think that the Blues will also advance far in this competition as well.
Pep has certainly cemented his style of play on Manchester City, and his strong possession and passing play has proved successful in this competition in the past. Winning the Champions League in his first season as a Manager with Barcelona in 2008, and then again in 2010, during the golden age of football, in which he created, as the ‘Tika-Taka’. That has tempted many punters to back Manchester City as the winners of this competition, with them currently standing 4th Favourites at 10/1, only behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Manchester City will regard themselves as strong favourites for this match, and defeat to Celtic would be nothing short of disastrous, with Barcelona at the Nou Camp their next match in this competition. They will, however, prove a hard side to beat, with their current form and the formidable tactician that is Pep Guardiola.
ZABALETA, OTAMENDI, STONES, KOLAROV
NAVAS, FERNANDINHO, DE BRUYNE, GUNDOGAN, STERLING
Bench (from): Caballero, Sagna, Clichy, Sane, Nolito, Tasande, Iheanacho
Prediction: Celtic 1 – 4 Manchester City