On September 19, Manchester City is scheduled to take on KF Crvena Zvezda in the opening group stage match of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League. The current titleholders initiate their quest to defend the trophy.
This marks Manchester City’s 13th consecutive season in the Champions League. In their initial two appearances, they were eliminated during the group stages. However, in the subsequent 10 campaigns, they managed to advance to the knockout rounds.
Manchester City currently boasts an impressive 13-game unbeaten streak in the Champions League, comprising eight victories and five draws, all of which occurred last season on their path to claiming the title. In Pep Guardiola’s managerial career, there has only been one instance of a longer unbeaten run in this competition, spanning 16 matches during his tenure with Barcelona between March 2011 and April 2012.
Crvena Zvezda has never before encountered the reigning European champions in the history of the European Cup/Champions League. Nevertheless, in their previous two Champions League campaigns, they faced the eventual competition winners, namely Liverpool in 2018/19 and Bayern Munich in 2019/20.
What time does Manchester City vs Crvena Zvezda kick off?
- Competition: UEFA Champions League
- Date: Tuesday, 19 September 2023
- Kick Off: 20:00 UK Time
- Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Manchester City vs Crvena Zvezda live stream, TV channel
- UK: BT Sport App, BTSport.com, BT Sport 1, TalkSport Radio UK, BBC Radio 5 Live, BT Sport Ultimate
- United States: Paramount+, SiriusXM FC, TUDN USA, Univision, Univision NOW, CBS, VIX+, TUDN.com, TUDN App
- Brazil: TNT Go, HBO Max, TNT Brasil
- Australia: Stan Sport
- Spain: Movistar+, Movistar Liga de Campeones
Manchester City vs Crvena Zvezda lineups, team news
Aside from Kevin De Bruyne, who is expected to be sidelined for three to four months due to a hamstring injury, head coach Pep Guardiola also has concerns regarding the availability of John Stones and Jack Grealish on Tuesday, as they are still in the process of recovering from muscle and thigh injuries.
Furthermore, summer signing Mateo Kovacic was unable to participate in both of Croatia’s matches during the September international break due to back issues, casting doubt on his potential involvement in the match against the Serbian champions.
Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake, Rodri, Kovacic, Silva, Alvarez, Foden, Haaland
Certainly, Red Star Belgrade may be disheartened by their recent consecutive weekend defeats. However, there’s a silver lining with the return of one of their star players, Aleksandar Katai, after a four-month absence due to a back injury. The 32-year-old winger could very well find himself in the coach’s starting lineup against the Citizens.
In addition, it’s anticipated that Barak Bakhar will reinstate the Serbian Super Liga’s leading scorer, Jean-Philippe Krasso (6 goals, 2 assists), into the attack. This is especially likely considering the underwhelming debut of their latest acquisition, Cherif Ndiaye, who missed a clear-cut chance against Cukaricki over the weekend.
FK Crvena Zvezda XI: Glazer, Dragovic, Miljailovic, Degenk, Mitrovic, Kangwa, Stamenic, Krasso, Bukari, Lucic, Olayinka
Manchester City vs Crvena Zvezda prediction
Pep Guardiola’s team displays no signs of relinquishing their status as European champions in the current season. Following their long-awaited triumph in the previous Champions League tournament, Manchester City is determined to defend their title vigorously. The Manchester Blues have demonstrated formidable form at the onset of the Premier League season, notably securing a commanding 5-2 victory against Fulham on September 2.
Confronting the Serbian club is expected to pose a minimal challenge for this elite English team. While Crvena Zvezda maintains competitiveness within their domestic league, facing the reigning European champions presents a formidable hurdle for Barak Bakhar’s side. Our prediction leans towards a Manchester City victory, with a potential scoreline around 3-0.
As of now, Manchester City firmly occupies the summit of the Premier League standings, having triumphed in all of their fixtures within the first four weeks of the tournament. Conversely, Crvena Zvezda holds second in the Serbian Superliga standings, with just one loss in their last five domestic matches.