Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Man City v Shakhtar Donetsk
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas is backing Manchester City to ease past Shakhtar Donetesk on Tuesday night
Charlie Nicholas is backing Manchester City to secure their spot in the Champions League knockout stage with a win against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night.
The Citizens are sitting at the top of Champions League Group C and five points ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb after four rounds of fixtures.
Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw with Atalanta in Italy in their last Champions League fixture after Chile international Claudio Bravo was sent off.
The Citizens were 3-0 winners against the Ukrainian side in the reverse fixture to suggest Pep Guardiola’s side shouldn’t have too much difficulty securing three points.
Manchester City warmed up for their Champions League clash with a 2-1 win against top-four rivals Chelsea FC at The Etihad at the weekend.
Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is tipping Manchester City to secure a comfortable win against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night.
“I feel there are still problems at the back for City. You could see that against Chelsea, but what a fabulous game of football. I kept seeing Riyad Mahrez and he was great – why did Pep Guardiola not take him off the bench at Anfield and let him run at Andy Robertson?” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“Against Chelsea, he kept going back and back – why did he not take anyone on? He did it on one occasion and scored, taking on two players. I know Pep wants his players to pass it and go into the different sections, but Mahrez is a wide man. You don’t take that out of Raheem Sterling – that’s what we love about him. I don’t know if he has been brainwashed into the stats and the fact that he cannot give the ball away.”
Nicholas added: “The Sergio Aguero injury will concern everyone, but I think Gabriel Jesus is probably ready to come into the team anyway. They will miss the quality of Aguero, but I don’t see any danger here. I have gone with 3-1 because there are still some frailties at the back.
“City could play Claudio Bravo as Ederson looked a tad rusty against Chelsea, so it could give him a bit more time to recover. They win this and they win the group, and then they can rest even more bodies in the last game, and that’s where this is going.”
Manchester City have won 11 of their last 19 European matches, home and away, losing six. They have won their last six home games, scoring 26 goals and conceding five times.
The defending Premier League champions have won three of their four home matches against Ukrainian visitors without conceding.