UEFA Champions League: Kevin de Bruyne & Phil Foden fit for Man City

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Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden could be involved for Manchester City as they host RB Leipzig in their Champions League Group A opener on Wednesday.

The midfield duo were unused substitutes in Saturday’s win at Leicester after overcoming ankle and foot injuries respectively.

Second-choice goalkeeper Zack Steffen remains unavailable after testing positive for Covid-19.

Scott Carson is likely to deputise for last year’s Champions League finalists.

City were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in last season’s final – the first they had reached in Europe’s premier club competition in their history.

Boss Pep Guardiola hopes his players can use the loss as motivation for this season’s competition – as they did in bouncing back from their disappointing quarter-final defeat to Lyon in 2020 to reach the final 12 months later.

“The players have feelings and soul and you know it hurts when you cannot achieve,” said the Spaniard.

“For them now it’s a new, new challenge to try. When these guys win three Premier Leagues in the last four years, and every year we have the feeling that we can do better – we reached the final of the Champions League – yes, it’s a motor. They want it.”

This season will be the club’s 11th in succession in the Champions League but, last season aside, they have only reached the semi-finals on one other occasion.

Guardiola has guided City to three of their Premier League crowns, including last season, but admits there are some who will still consider his reign a failure without Champions League success.

“Every year it is the same,” he added. “If I win the Champions League I’ll be happy for the club but if we are not going to do it we are not going to do it.

“You have to judge the success or not of my period. I try to do my best every single day and people can judge my job like I judge my players on how incredible they have done.”

City are in a tricky group alongside star-studded French champions Paris St-Germain, Belgian side Club Brugge and Wednesday’s opponents Leipzig, who were runners-up in Germany last year but have made a woeful start to this campaign under new manager Jesse Marsch.

They have lost three of their opening four Bundesliga games, including Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich – now managed by their former boss Julian Nagelsmann.

Defender Marcelo Saracchi will miss the game as he continues to rehabilitate after a cruciate ligament tear, while Marcel Halstenberg is nursing an ankle problem.

Angelino was fit enough to play an hour against Bayern after recovering from a muscular issue and could line up against his former side.

Man City provisional squad: Ederson, Carson, Walker, Cancelo, Stones, Laporte, Ake, Dias, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Rodri, Grealish, De Bruyne, Silva, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Foden, Sterling, Jesus, Torres.

SourceBBC

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