With the qualification already assured, Manchester City defends on Tuesday, November 21, their perfect campaign in the Champions League of Europe edition 2017/2018. At Ethirad Stadium in Manchester, will receive the eliminated Feyenoord, the Netherlands. The start of the duel is scheduled for 5:45 pm (Brasília time). The clash is part of the fifth round (penultimate) schedule of the group stage of the tournament.
The English have reached the 12 possible points so far and have a guaranteed presence in the round of 16. Ukraine’s Shakhtar with nine points is second and fights Napoli, who has three, for second place. The Dutch have not yet scored.
The recent performance of Manchester City
For the Manchester Blues this Tuesday’s game has training features. But the confrontation has some importance. You can ensure, with a round in advance, the first place in the group. That would allow, at least in theory, an advantage in the draw for the duels of the last 16 as the English team would not have a group champion ahead of them.
But more important than this small advantage is the defense of a long series without defeats. By beating Leicester 2-0 away on Saturday 18 November, the City has increased its undefeated series (22 wins and five draws) to 27 in April last year. This relationship relies only on official matches.
It should not be enough, however, for coach Pepe Guardiola to climb all his headlines. Faced with a much more technically fragile opponent, he will probably give some of his top athletes a break.
He is able to do this to try to open an even greater advantage in the English Premier League where City leads with 34 points (11 wins and a draw). They are eight more than Manchester United, runner-up. This ‘fat’ may be important in the second half of the season when Guardiola will have the chance to do the reverse by preserving his athletes in Premier League games for better Champions League performances.
With practically all the available cast, the Spanish coach can make the experiments that he wants before Feyenoord. His only limitation to choose the team that will act is the right-back Benjamin Mendy (four games in the English Championship 2017/2018, no goal). The Frenchman is injured.
The current form of Feyenoord
The only goal left for the Dutch is to try to reach the third position, which would give the right to play in the second half of the season the Europa League. For this they would need to accumulate at least four points in the remaining days. In this scenario, they would have to hope that Napoli will not score against Shakthar in a match that also happens on Tuesday at the same time in Naples.
Another possibility would be to accumulate the remaining six points. In that case, if Napoli defeated Shakthar, Feyenoord would still have to beat the Italians by two goals difference on the final day.
In practice, the realization of any of these scenarios seems out of the question, especially for the weak soccer that the team that was national champion of the previous season has been presenting. For the past eight games, he has won just one. On Saturday, November 18, at home, was held in the 1-1 draw with Venlo.
With that, he fell to seventh place in the Eredivisie. With 19 points (five wins, four draws and three losses), he is 14 behind PSV, leader of the tournament.
To face City, coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst has two medical problems. They are undergoing injury treatment and are re-evaluating whether Botteghin (five matches in the Dutch 2017/2018 Championship without a goal) and midfielder Jan-Arie van der Heijden (six games without a goal) will be available.
History of matches Manchester City and Feyenoord
The first round match of the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League group stage was the first involving the teams. In the Netherlands, City won 4-0.
Even if City puts a mixed team on the field, there is not much room for risky guessing in this game. The British follow as best guess option with a price of 1.12 in Bet365. Draw has a prize of 12.00 and the return to success of Feyenoord is 19.00.