Manchester City returns to the Champions League on Tuesday evening when they welcome Red Star Belgrade to the Etihad.
City made history last campaign by becoming European champions for the first time, beating Inter Milan in the final of the competition.
The reigning title winners now begin their defense in Group G, drawn in a favorable group alongside Red Star, RB Leipzig and Young Boys.
Pep Guardiola’s side are one of the big favorites to win their first match against the Serbian side who won their championship without losing a single match last season.
Man City vs Red Star: how to follow
This Group G clash of the Champions League will take place on Tuesday September 19.
Kick-off at the Etihad Stadium is scheduled for 8 p.m.
The match will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 2.
Fans can watch the match on TV or you can stream the match on the Discovery+ website or through the app.
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Man City vs Red Star: Team news
Jack Grealish and John Stones are both expected to remain absent for City’s opening Champions League clash.
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The England stars have been absent from recent matches as they continue to recover from injuries.
Kevin De Bruyne is out long-term while Mateo Kovacic is likely to miss out after being unavailable for City’s trip to West Ham.
Guardiola could rotate his squad with Matheus Nunes, Nathan Ake and Rico Lewis all pushing for starts after coming off the bench this weekend.
As for Red Star Belgrade, they should have no injury problems for the match.
Man City vs Red Star: What was said?
Man City boss Guardiola has raised concerns over his side’s busy schedule with key players out injured.
Speaking after City’s 3-1 win over West Ham, he said: “It’s a problem when you have a lot of injuries, not today, but the effect will be felt in three, four or five matches.
“In the Carabao Cup, we have to go to Newcastle. I’m sorry but there are matches where we are going to play with the second team, certain players, because we can’t with the dangers.
“Kevin’s still out, John’s still out, Kova, I don’t know, Jack, I don’t know. So when you have the full squad, you go to Newcastle with a good team.
“That’s why now it’s just about resting, recovering well, training in good shape and trying to arrive on match day in the best possible condition.
“We can’t waste energy… These guys were playing 90 minutes for the national teams and traveling like from Bolivia and Ederson from Brazil. It’s so exhausting for them.
“We are not treating players the right way. We are so irresponsible in the way we treat players.
Man City vs Red Star: Matching the facts
- Manchester City’s Jack Grealish created the most chances under pressure of any player in the UEFA Champions League last season (28), while his total of 35 chances created was the most recorded by an English player in only one edition of the tournament (since 2003-04).
- Erling Haaland scored 12 goals in the UEFA Champions League last season, more than any other player. However, the Man City striker has failed to score in his last three appearances, his longest run without a goal in the competition.
- Star Zvezda have not scored in any of their last four matches in this competition (in 2019-20) – their longest streak without a goal in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 13 UEFA Champions League matches (W8 D5), all of which came last season en route to the trophy. Only once in his coaching career has Pep Guardiola enjoyed a longer unbeaten run in the competition, going 16 without defeat in charge of Barcelona between March 2011 and April 2012.
- Red Star have lost their six away matches in the UEFA Champions League so far, conceding 22 goals and scoring just two in return. Two of those defeats came in England, 4-0 against Liverpool in 2018-19 and 5-0 against Tottenham Hotspur in 2019-20.
- This is Manchester City’s 13th consecutive season in the UEFA Champions League. After being eliminated in the group stage in each of their first two appearances, they have reached the round of 16 in each of the last 10 campaigns.
- Holders Manchester City remained undefeated in the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League campaign (8 wins, 5 draws). Only once in the last 28 seasons have the competition’s holders lost their opening group stage match, with Liverpool losing 2-0 at Napoli in 2019-20.
- This is the first time that Red Star will face the reigning European champions in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. However, they have faced the eventual winners of the competition in their two previous Champions League campaigns (Liverpool in 2018-19, Bayern Munich in 2019-20).
- Red Star have won just one of their 11 away matches against English teams in all competitions (D4 L6), beating Liverpool 2-1 in the 1973-74 European Cup. .
- Manchester City have never faced Red Star in European competition – in fact, this is the first time they will face a Serbian team.
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