In Review

Champions League: Man City vs. Atalanta preview, predictions, team news, TV and live stream details

Pep Guardiola expects the Italian side to take risks at the Etihad

Manchester City vs. Atalanta

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City go into the unknown on Tuesday when they face Atalanta for the first time. 

The Italians, who are coached by Gian Piero Gasperini, are playing their first campaign in the Champions League but have started group C with two defeats from two. 

Despite the Serie A side’s disappointing start Guardiola is expecting a tough match. He said: “It’s a great joy to watch Gasperini’s team play, they’re brave, they respect their supporters and that’s the way they play. They take quite a few risks and I’m sure they’ll play that way on Tuesday night.”

City defender João Cancelo agreed with his coach, and said: “Atalanta are a strong team, a physical team and they press very well. They have players that are technically skilled and I believe it will be a difficult match.”

City are favourites to win this season’s Champions League and they top group C following victories over Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb. 

Portuguese right-back Cancelo, who signed for City this summer from Juventus, said there’s no guarantees at the top level of European football.

“Nobody can have absolute certainty [to win the Champions League],” Cancelo added. “Both Juve and City have a lot of quality players and both want to win. But there is no obligation to win, nobody can guarantee it.”

TV and live stream details 

The group C clash will be live on BT Sport. Coverage starts at 7pm and the match kicks off at 8pm. The broadcaster will also show a live stream of the game at sport.bt.com.

Shakhtar Donetsk host Dinamo Zagreb in the other group C fixture (5.55pm, live on BT Sport Extra ESPN).

Team news and starting XIs

Man City team news

French defender Aymeric Laporte and German winger Leroy Sane remain on the sidelines. However, boss Pep Guardiola has been given a boost after Kyle Walker and Nicolás Otamendi trained at the weekend.

Left-back Benjamin Mendy is also fully fit and John Stones came on as a sub in the 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday. 

Spaniard Guardiola said: “Walker is getting better. He and Otamendi trained on Sunday. [Benjamin] Mendy’s physical condition is not a big problem as it’s his biggest quality. When he trains and plays for months, we will see the best Mendy possible.”

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Atalanta team news

The Italians are without their leading scorer, Colombian striker Duván Zapata, while Russian midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi is also an injury doubt. 

How the teams could line up according to Uefa.com 
  • Man City possible starting XI: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gündogan; Mahrez, Agüero, Sterling
  • Laporte (knee), Sané (knee), Zinchenko (illness)
  • Atalanta possible starting XI: Gollini; Tolói, Djimsiti, Masiello; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Castagne; A Gómez, Iličić; Muriel
  • Out: Zapata (adductor), Palomino (thigh), Kjær (adductor)

Pundit predictions 

Will Lott, 90min: Man City 3 Atalanta 1

“City should expect to run out comfortable winners here. Atalanta, despite clearly being a danger in attack, are unlikely to cause their hosts too many problems, especially if [John] Stones is fit enough to start the game. With Sergio Aguero likely to start the game as well, he should be confident of causing problems and picking up a goal or two.”

Matt Law, SportsMole: Man City 2 Atalanta 0

“Zapata’s potential absence for Atalanta would be a major blow to the away side, and we are finding it difficult to predict anything other than a routine home victory on Tuesday night.”

Mohamed Moallim, Squawka: Man City 2 Atalanta 0

“Wolves’ recent escapade would no doubt give Atalanta some hope for this confrontation, but it’s hard to see lightning striking twice especially given their respective forms in Europe, that being said this should not be a walk in the part for Pep Guardiola’s men.” 

Joe Rutter, The Stats Zone: City to win

“Manchester City have won their last five Champions League games at the Etihad, scoring no fewer than 21 goals in the process, and they should make fairly light work of newcomers Atalanta, who have conceded six goals in their opening two Champions League matches.”

Football Predictions: Man City 2 Atalanta 0

“We’re thinking that Manchester City will most probably create enough chances to score more than one when they face Atalanta, who could well find it tough to score themselves. We’re predicting a pretty comfortable 2-0 margin for Manchester City when the full-time whistle blows.”

Tuesday 22 October: matchday three fixtures 

Group A
  • Club Bruges vs. Paris Saint Germain (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 4) 
  • Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid (8pm, live on BT Sport ESPN)
Group B
Group C
  • Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Dinamo Zagreb (5.55pm, live on BT Sport ESPN) 
  • Manchester City vs. Atalanta (8pm, live on BT Sport 2) 
Group D
  • Atlético Madrid vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 1) 
  • Juventus vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 3) 

Wednesday 23 October: matchday three fixtures 

Group E
  • FC Red Bull Salzburg vs. Napoli (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 2) 
  • KRC Genk vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on BT Sport 2) 
Group F
  • Inter Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund (8pm, live on BT Sport ESPN) 
  • Slavia Prague vs. Barcelona (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 3)
Group G
  • RB Leipzig vs. Zenit St Petersburg (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 1) 
  • Benfica vs. Lyon (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 5) 
Group H
  • Ajax vs. Chelsea (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 3)
  • Lille vs. Valencia (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 4)

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