Manchester City have finalised their preparations for their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage opener, as they trained at the City Football Academy on Monday.
The reigning European champions – who claimed their first success in Europe’s premier club competition – take on Serbian outfit Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night as they look to retain their crown at the first time of asking.
City come into the contest in Europe off the back of both a Champions League final victory over Inter, and a UEFA Super Cup triumph against Sevilla last month, and will be full of confidence heading into this week’s clash following recent results in the Premier League.
On Saturday afternoon, Manchester City maintained their 100 per cent winning start to the English top-flight season after moving past David Moyes’ West Ham side via a 1-3 scoreline at the London Stadium, having originally fallen behind in the contest.
Red Star Belgrade at home is the first of six matches in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage, as Manchester City have also been drawn to face RB Leipzig and BSC Young Boys both home and away.
In their final training session ahead of Tuesday night’s contest at the Etihad Stadium, Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City squad have now put together their final preparations ahead of the visit of the Serbian club
Here is a complete list of players spotted at the City Football Academy on Monday afternoon!
19-man senior Manchester City training squad ahead of Red Star Belgrade
Goalkeepers: Ederson, Ortega Moreno, Carson.
Defenders: Walker, Lewis, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol, Ake, Gomez.
Midfielders: Rodri, Phillips, Nunes, Bernardo.
Forwards: Alvarez, Bobb, Doku, Foden, Haaland.
Note: A number of Manchester City academy players joined the first-team training session, bringing the numbers up to around 23.
Pep Guardiola confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Mateo Kovacic and Jack Grealish would certainly be out of Tuesday night’s contest against the Serbian club, as both players continue to recover from respective muscular problems.
The City boss told the media at the City Football Academy, “They are getting better, not for tomorrow. Hopefully Nottingham (Forest) or next games. Look how we improve without them. We need them soon, we need Jack (Grealish) to compete with Jeremy (Doku).
“Difficult to stay for a long time. It happens, we accept it.”
John Stones remained absent from the first-team training session on Monday afternoon, as he continues to recover from his own injury problem, while Kevin De Bruyne continues to be sidelined.