Manchester City can secure qualification for the knockout phase of the Champions League with a win in Greece against Olympiacos

Manchester City face the toughest Champions League test yet tonight, but the reward could be great with qualifying for the final 16 in sight

City knows that three points seal qualification for the next round of the Champions League with two group games – a prize that could be invaluable if Pep Guardiola is to tackle this season’s hectic schedule

However, Guardiola has chosen to rest two key players on the trip to Greece as Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne have stayed in Manchester that gives them the much-needed rest and gives some fringe players a chance to watch Guardiola before the Christmas season hits to impress

Sergio Aguero has traveled, as has Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho, both returning after injury Guardiola says he will get Aguero back into action after his return to fitness so Gabriel Jesus can start again in this away game

Olympiacos, the architects of their own downfall, when they sloppily admit property on the edge of their box

Foden tries to squirm in his sights, but his attempt is blocked

Then it falls to Gundogan and it felt like a goal was set, but he shot his effort way beyond the goal

Two midweek games over the next two weeks that Guardiola can switch because he knows he only needs one point to win the group could be a massive boost to building a run in the Premier League mean for Christmas


City has to stay tight in the back and try to win this game to make sure they have that luxury for the next two weeks

City wasn’t at their best tonight, but is still one of the favorites in the Champions League

There is a lot of excitement there, and – so far – City seems to be more about their emotions than Olympiacos

But it just takes a little bit of provocation from an Olympiacos man crossing the line for City to react badly, so keep your head

Sterling has already been booked, John Stones and Rodri have been involved a few times, and Guardiola might be happy halftime is here

This is exactly what City needed to go into halftime, but Guardiola will likely expect even more when he releases his half-time team talk

Nice goal, and Phil Foden is very good at scheduling these runs around the area so that they are in the right place at the right time to hit a cross and reach the goal

Thanks to Sterling for knowing exactly where his teammate would be, and this goal also showed what Gabriel Jesus brings to the team – to come up short and find the run behind you

City takes the lead right on time. A long ball from Gundogan finds Jesus in space, who plays it to Sterling

He drives it back to compatriot Foden, who hits home with ease to finally overcome the impasse

Not much going on here as we reach the last 10 minutes before the break

If City wanted to make a statement after losing to Tottenham at the weekend, their plan won’t work

After failing to capitalize when they were at the top, the Blues are now struggling to create opportunities against an Olympiacos team that likes to play slower

A brief break in play while Rodri is treated after he rattles on the center line

It appeared to be his nose struck by the opponent’s shoulder, but now he’s back on the field

That might come back to bite me, but John Stones already looks more confident than we’ve seen whenever he got a chance last season

BT Sport tells us that he only played 49 minutes in the Champions League last season – he improved that for this season before tonight. He wins his tackles well, preventing Olympiacos from taking a break

Perhaps having a leader like Ruben Dias for the organization is the perfect type of partner for him so that Stones can just focus on winning his duels and playing football

A reminder if you missed it, the football world was rocked tonight by the tragic death of Diego Maradona at the age of 60

The city continues to dominate the action and Olympiacos didn’t see much of the ball in the first 20 minutes

This should be the ideal game for Benjamin Mendy. Olympiacos defends deep but tightly so that he can overlap and possibly send some crosses

He’s been at his best in this role in the past and seems to be moving forward whenever possible tonight

You haven’t done enough to score a goal, but the intent is promising and suggests Olympiacos could have a long night out

Olympiacos are happy to sit low and not put pressure on the ball, likely due to the fact that there is a significant list of absenteeism tonight

First he turns a rear wheel in the direction of Sterling, which is intercepted, but repossessed itself

He meanders around but tries to get the goalkeeper who has been forced further than he would have liked

Foden was in midfield three in the TV graphics, but started far on the left as a striker, Raheem Sterling on the right

This combination worked well in Marseille and gave City a breadth that they often lacked this season

Rodri has the first chance of the game, who tries hard from outside the area but is right at Sa

We’re in Athens, where City starts the game and kicks from left to right in the first half

Olympiacos and City both took to the field before the game Referee Davide Vissa will perform the coin toss

Following the tragic news of Diego Maradona’s death, there will be a minute’s silence before the game

Not for 90 minutes He comes from the injured One step at a time [Will he come?] It depends. Always before I have an idea

No, you are tired, a lot of games, mental fatigue You were a little tired At first we couldn’t cope with all of the problems

Now we have players again, so it was good for them to have a week off

15 minutes to go before kick-off in Athens, where the win will secure a place for City in the knockout phase of the competition

For once, we (probably) don’t have to hear any complaints from Guardiola about the need for further substitutions as the Champions League has made the other two allowable changes for this season

In his first three group games, Guardiola used at least one of the extra subs, but he was strangely reluctant to make his maximum of three changes in each holiday game – despite his frequent calls for a change in the rules of the Premier League

The extra flexibility tonight could allow Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Aleks Zinchenko to get some playing time in the second half if they don’t start

Olympiacos vs Man City, Man City

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