By Melvi boss
Coach of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola said he expects nothing else but goals tonight as his team takes on Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F game and urged his free-scoring forwards to stay hungry for goals.
City, who lead Manchester United on goal difference, have been in impressive form in recent weeks, thumping Liverpool, Watford and Crystal Palace in their past three Premier League games by an aggregate score of 16-0.
Combined with a 4-0 thrashing of Feyenoord in the Champions League, and a more modest 2-1 victory over West Brom in the League Cup, City’s momentum since the last international break has been formidable.
The results have pleased manager Guardiola but he is still not satisfied, as shown in the visible signs of frustration he displayed during a scoreless opening 44 minutes of Saturday’s 5-0 defeat of Palace.
However, this is the first competitive encounter between City and Shakhtar.
No Ukrainian club has won an away game in the Champions League against English opposition (D2 L12). In fact, Shakhtar have lost all four of their trips to England in the competition.
Manchester City are unbeaten in their last nine Champions League home games (W6 D3), their longest run without a defeat on home soil in the competition. City’s last defeat at the Etihad dates back to September 2015 against Juventus (1-2).
This is City’s seventh consecutive Champions League participation. They have made it past the round of 16 only once, it was in 2015/16 when they reached the semi-finals (knocked out by Real Madrid).
Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk have reached the knockout stages in three of their last six Champions League campaigns, their best performance dating back to 2010/11 (quarter-finalists).
Shakhtar have lost their last four away games in the Champions League, conceding 14 goals and scoring none.
However, Shakhtar have the opportunity to win their opening two games of a Champions League campaign for the third time after 2007/08 and 2010/11.
Sixty-four per cent of Shakhtar Donetsk’s goals in the Champions League have been scored by Brazilians (69 out of 108), the highest ratio for any team having made at least three appearances in the competition.
John Stones has scored three goals in his last three Champions League games, all from corner kicks.
Andriy Pyatov will become the fourth Ukrainian to reach 50 games in the Champions League if he plays against City.
By Melvi boss