Manchester City will play Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Etihad Stadium.
Return of Pep Roulette
Pep Guardiola is the bane of anyone who plays Fantasy Premier League because of his proclivity for rotating when it’s least expected, and he’s also earned a reputation as an overthinker in the Champions League. Even though Raheem Sterling had two assists at the weekend, he is not guaranteed to start against Atletico Madrid due to Riyad Mahrez’s strong form.
Guardiola developed two XIs last season, one for the Champions League and the other for the rest of the games, with the Premier League essentially won. With a one-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table, he can’t afford to focus solely on one tournament this season.
This should be beneficial to the gamers. Those who start against Atletico Madrid, as well as those on the bench, have no idea whether they will play against Liverpool at the weekend. All they can do is give everything they have in the minutes they have to demonstrate why they are necessary.
Liverpool is on the move.
The significance of the Liverpool match on Sunday cannot be overstated, and the FA Cup tie is also on the horizon. That competition is the least important of the three in which City is still competing, but every game is crucial right now.
That makes any chance for some relief a luxury, and if the Blues can build a lead against Atletico in the first leg, it will take the burden off their travel to Madrid for the second leg next week, which will aid them in their games against Liverpool. They won’t score as many goals as they did against Sporting in the previous round, but a goal differential of a few goals might be crucial in advancing in three competitions.
Influence of Fernandinho?
Rodri has been crucial to City this season and will almost certainly start against Atletico Madrid, but the Spanish club’s reputation for dark arts may mean that Fernandinho is called upon at some time. Nobody in Manchester is better at mixing it with other teams than City’s senior captain, as he demonstrated against Porto last season.
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