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Manchester City will be looking to maintain their perfect start in the Champions League when they host Greek giants Olympiacos at the Etihad Stadium for Tuesday’s match.
Live Broadcast on BT Sport 3 at 8:00pm, Tue 3rd November 2020
It seems Man City have completely forgotten the blameful draw against West Ham in the Premier League sixth round last October 24. As evidenced by the last two games, The Green Man has won. They have just beaten Sheffield United 1-0 in the seventh round of the Premier League and before that, had a jubilant 3-0 win over Marseille in the Champions League this season.
The biggest highlight of Man City’s past two wins, not in goals, but from the form of their defence. For the first time in all competitions this season, Man City have kept two clean sheets in a row. It seems that the timely additions of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias helped Pep Guardiola strengthen his previous central defender position.
Having thrown the burden away, Pep can completely freely bring Man City back into the winning trajectory. Against Marseille and Sheffield United, the Manchester Blue shirt team both showed familiar ball control, both holding the ball over 60% and both launching chances of finishing.
The effectiveness of those bombardments depends on the opponent, each situation. But it is worth noting that it seems that The Green Man is accustomed to the absence of the best strikers, when both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are injured. The evidence was against Sheffield United, their only goal scored by full-back Kyle Walker. Against Marseille, two Man City goals belonged to second-line “gunmen” Ilkay Guendogan and Ferran Torres.
Tonight, it is very likely that the two midfielders will continue to start, in a game where Pep needs to support the most important detonators, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne. In the match against Olympiacos, Man City will most likely continue to use Ferran Torres for the centre-forward position even though this is not the youngster’s preferred position. Torres contributed a goal against Marseille, alongside Gundogan and Sterling.
But in the Premier League, Torres proved unguarded against Sheffield United despite making a number of tackles. Man City had to rely on Walker’s long-range shot to take three points away from home in the Premier League seventh round. Pep’s students need to be incisive against Olympiacos.
Tonight, Torres will join Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez in the forward line, with support from Guendogan and Bernardo Silva in the backline. With such an attacking force, Man City can still confidently aim for a bold win over Olympiacos. Because the Greek team is playing away very badly, when it is not known that the victory in all five times away from home has been in all competitions.
Olympiacos will try to avoid becoming Man City’s next victim, but the Greek champions is unlikely to be optimistic after they suffered a 0-2 defeat to Porto in the second leg. Prior to that, they had 1–0 against Marseille.
The defeat to Porto was Olympiacos’ only defeat in their last 10 matches in all competitions, but it was difficult for Pedro Martin’s students to score against Man City.