Manchester City’s Champions League Defence: A Preview
City’s Injury Woes
Manchester City embark on a fresh quest to defend their Champions League title, but they’re met with injury setbacks. Key stalwarts, including John Stones and Jack Grealish, will miss the opener against Red Star Belgrade. Stones has been sidelined since his appearance in the Community Shield, and Grealish felt the impact just prior to the international interval.
Croatian international Mateo Kovacic and the influential Kevin de Bruyne are also on the absentees list. While Kovacic’s injury occurred on international duty, De Bruyne faces a more extended spell on the sidelines.
Guardiola’s Steely Determination
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s tactician, remains unfazed. “We commence each season with a single vision: to triumph from the first whistle, dominate the group stage and eventually lift the Champions League trophy,” Guardiola commented. “The narrative remains consistent, and so does our approach towards Red Star. Our success hinges on our performance and the quality we bring to the pitch.”
Guardiola accentuated City’s formidable home record, suggesting their dominance could pave the way for progress even with minimal away victories.
Red Star’s Mixed Fortunes
As Manchester City’s adversaries, Red Star’s recent journey is notable. They clinched the Serbian title last season without tasting defeat. However, the winds of change brought about a managerial shift in the summer. With Barak Bakhar at the helm, Red Star’s trajectory has seen a slight dip, with two defeats in their last trio of matches.