Manchester: Manchester City will be without a host of key players for their decisive clash with Roma as they look to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Sergio Aguero completed a hat-trick and a dramatic late turnaround as City beat Bayern Munich 3-2 last time out to claim a maiden Group E win on matchday five and keep their campaign alive.
Manchester City’s Samir Nasri. pic/Getty Images
A win or a score draw in Rome will see Manuel Pellegrini’s team into the Last 16, provided CSKA do not match either result in Munich. But Aguero twisted his knee on Saturday and will be unavailable to face Roma.
City’s injury concerns
City are still waiting to learn the full extent of the injury suffered by their talisman, while David Silva (knee) and captain Vincent Kompany (hamstring) are also likely to miss the trip to the Italian capital.
Yaya Toure, meanwhile, serves the second game of a three-match suspension to stretch City’s resources in midfield, though Fernandinho is poised to return.
Samir Nasri remains confident the English champions can avoid a third group-stage elimination from the Champions League in four seasons. “If we play our game, we will win against Roma,” he told beIN Sport.
“The greatest risk is to play with pressure and to have this apprehension. If we don’t ask questions, and we play our game, then we will do it. We have more qualities. If we are eliminated from the Champions League, this is not the fault of the coach, it is the players who are on the pitch.”
Provided CSKA do not win at the Allianz Arena, a goalless draw would be enough to see Roma through on their head-to-head record over City.
Roma right-back Maicon is set for a reunion with the club he represented during the 2012-13 season, with Vasilis Torosidis (calf) set to miss out once more.
As Roma VS Manchester City and Bayern Munich VS CSKA Moscow
>> Bayern Munich (12 points) will clinch first place irrespective of today’s results.
>> Roma (five points) will be through with a win, or a draw if CSKA draw with Bayern. If CSKA lose, Roma would be through with a goalless draw but out with a scoring draw.
>> CSKA (five points), to finish second, must win and hope Roma do not beat City.
>> City (five points) must win and hope CSKA do not, or get a score draw and hope CSKA lose. If they lose they won’t even make the cut for Europa League.
Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax vs APOEL
>> PSG (13 points) are through already and will top the group with a draw tonight.
>> Barcelona (12 points) are through and will top the group with victory.
>> Ajax (two points) will finish third with a draw.
>> APOEL (one point) must win to pip Ajax to the UEFA Europa League.
Chelsea vs Sporting Clube de Portugal and Maribor vs Schalke 04
>> Chelsea (11 points) have assured themselves the group winners spot.
>> Sporting (seven points) will be through with a draw or if Schalke cannot win.
>> Schalke (five points) must win tonight and hope Sporting lose.
>> Maribor (three points) are out of the Champions League irrespective of what happens tonight but will finish third and seal a Europa League berth with a win.
Porto vs FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Athletic BILBAO vs FC BATE Borisov
>> Portugal side Porto (13 points) have assured themselves first place in Group H.
>> Shakhtar (eight points) will definitely finish second irrespective of what happens tonight.
>> Athletic Bilbao (four points) will finish third if they avoid defeat.
>> BATE (three points) must win tonight to pip Athletic to the Europa League.