Manchester City host Juventus in the first group game of the Champions League on Tuesday 15 September, as the Premier League toppers look to top their group for the first time since making it into the competition. Juventus are going through a poor run of form in the league and need to get back to their very best in a bid to repeat their heroics from last season where they qualified for the finals.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 7.45pm BST. Live coverage of the game will be on BT Sport Europe and BT Sport Europe HD.
The Citizens come into the game having won all their Premier League fixtures thus far, not conceding a single goal in the process. Manuel Pellegrini has completely transformed his side from one that finished eight points behind Chelsea last season to an entity, who are unlikely to be overawed by the immense competition in the league. The 2013/14 Champions have carried on from their brilliant end to last season, and with some astute summer activity, are looking good to pose a proper title challenge.
However, their Qatari owners are unlikely to be satisfied with their failure to make any impact in Europe, where they have failed to move past the round of 16. They were unlucky after having been handed tough groups in the previous few years. But there is a possibility they can top this group, even though it looks tougher than the rest of the bunch. Such a result should result in a comparatively easier draw in the round of 16.
Meanwhile, Juventus have been anything but comfortable in the first three games of the new Serie A season, losing two and drawing one in the games played thus far. The departure of Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez, the architects of their league winning campaign over the past few seasons has hit them hard and Massimiliano Allegri will be hoping that a strong performance here will be enough to rejuvenate their season.
What Managers Say
Manuel Pellgrini: "We play against a very strong squad. That is why they won the title four years in a row in Italy. That is not easy. They did not start the season very well in Italy but they continue having very good players. I don't think we must trust in Juventus [to make things easy for City] because it is a different competition. The Champions League also always motivates all the players so we are not thinking about Juventus."
Massimiliano Allegri: "It is a difficult group but we have what it takes to do well. We need to make the most of our home matches, knowing we're up against some serious opponents like Manchester City and Sevilla, who have won the UEFA Europa League twice. Our first game is at City and we will try to get points out of that, but it is going to be tough. City are contenders to top this group – and win the UEFA Champions League too. No disrespect to Mönchenglabach, but I think City, Sevilla and ourselves have the best chance of going through. Our goal for the season is to win Serie A – even if we haven't started well – and the Coppa Italia, and to have an excellent UEFA Champions League campaign."
Betting Odds (By Bwin)
- Manchester City Win: 1.75
- Draw: 3.75
- Juventus Win: 5
Possible XI: Hart; Sanga, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Bony
Possible XI: Buffon; Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci, Caceres; Pogba, Pereyra, Cuadrado; Hernanes; Morata, Dybala