Manchester City take on the visitors Crvena Zvezda in the round 1 match of UEFA Champions League group stage. The match will be played on Tuesday, September 19th at
Manchester City are undergoing noticeable changes once again. The Citizens have finally achieved a long-standing goal. In early June, they won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history. However, Pep Guardiola wouldn't be himself if he didn't initiate another overhaul of the squad, even after completing the treble. Under his guidance, the English giants set a new record by making Guardiola the world's most expensive defender, spending 90 million on him. There were other new additions as well, such as Kovacic, Dokku, and Mateus Nunes. But there have been departures too, and while Cancelo, Laporte, and Mendy were already somewhat expected to leave, Gundogan and Mahrez could have been valuable assets, and the young Palmer has had a promising start to this season. By the way, his goal took the UEFA Super Cup match to a penalty shootout, which they won against Sevilla. Kevin De Bruyne is also out of action for a while, but Manchester City are performing well in the Premier League even without him.
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Crvena Zvezda Belgrade remains the strongest club in their country, but on the international stage, they face challenges. Crvena Zvezda are historically a powerhouse in both Yugoslavian and Serbian football. Currently, there is hardly any real competition on the domestic front, even their eternal rivals, Partizan, are significantly weaker. However, their performances on the international stage haven't matched their ambitions. Last summer, they managed to reach the UEFA Champions League qualifiers by defeating Pyunik but were subsequently eliminated by Maccabi, losing 2-3 in Haifa and drawing 2-2 at home. Even in the UEFA Europa League, the ambitious team, despite earning 6 points, finished only fourth in their group.
This will be the first time that City hosts the historic Belgrade giants. Holland and company are significantly stronger than the Serbians. We recommend betting on a home win with a -2.5 goals handicap.
Prediction for the match: Manchester City to win with -1.0 handicap.