City make five changes for tonight’s clash with Marseille.

In come Aymeric Laporte, Oleks Zinchenko, Ferran Torres, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, with Joao Cancelo, Eric Garcia, Bernardo, Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero.

Starting line-ups:

City: Ederson, Walker, Zinchenko, Dias, Laporte, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (c), Torres, Foden, Sterling

Substitutes: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Bernardo, Mahrez, Cancelo, Garcia, Nmecha, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Palmer, Bernabe

Marseille: Mandanda,H Sakai, Balerdi, González, Caleta-Car, Amavi, Rongier, Kamara, Cuisance, Thauvin, Radonjic

Probable formation and tactics: 4-3-3

It looks like 4-3-3 this evening.

Zinchenko and Laporte come into the back four, with De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan supporting Rodrigo in midfield.

Up front, Raheem Sterling will have Torres and possibly Foden alongside.

City look to take command

Victory in Marseille would set up next week’s clash with Olympiacos perfectly.

Pep Guardiola will have targeted three wins from three from the first half of group matches, with the likelihood that if that could be achieved, one more victory should be enough to take City into the Round of 16.

But all that is immaterial going into this game which, on paper, looks a tricky hurdle.

Marseille can count themselves unlucky to have lost their opening group game against Olympiacos, with the Greek side scoring deep into added time.

Expect the French side to be organised, disciplined and physical if needed – and in Dmitri Payet, they have a player capable inspiring those around him to far greater heights.

Marseille: Season so far

Marseille currently sit fourth in Ligue 1 having lost just one of their opening eight domestic fixtures.

The club that represents the second-biggest city in France began the campaign with a 3-2 win away to Brest and followed that with an excellent 1-0 away to Paris St Germain – an explosive fixture that resulted in a mass brawl and five red cards in added time – two from Marseille.

It proved that ‘The Olympians’ can mix it up when needed and get results where they perhaps considered the underdog.

They followed that win a 2-0 home loss to Saint Etienne and successive draws against Lille. Metz and Lyon.

And sandwiched in-between Ligue 1 wins over Bordeaux and Lorient was an opening Champions League group stage loss to Olympiacos.

Overall, a steady start to the 2020/21.

Stats and facts: Marseille

  • Olympique Marseille (OM) are making their tenth appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage, but their first since 2013/14. Three of those previous nine campaigns have extended into the knockout rounds, including the inaugural edition in 1992/93 when OM became the first, and so far only, French side to win the European Cup.
  • Marseille most recently made the knockout stages in 2011/12, when they reached the quarter-finals.
  • Seven years ago, OM finished bottom of their group behind Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, and Napoli, losing all six games.
  • Matchday 1 extended Marseille's losing run in the UEFA Champions League to ten matches. Their last success in the competition was a 1-0 home victory against Internazionale in the 2011/12 round of 16 first leg.
  • Second in Ligue 1 in 2019/20, Marseille are taking part in UEFA competition for the first time since 2018/19. Then they finished bottom of a UEFA Europa League section also including Eintracht Frankfurt, Lazio and Apollon Limassol with one point having lost five of their six matches.
  • Marseille are without a win in nine European matches, losing eight, since a 2-0 victory at home to Salzburg in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg. They went on to lose the second leg 2-1 but still progressed to the final, where they were beaten 3-0 by Atlético de Madrid in Lyon.
  • Marseille have finished outside the top two in their UEFA Champions League group in five of their last seven participations.
  • Marseille have lost their last three home European matches having won the previous four and eight of the previous nine (D1).
  • Marseille are without a win in their last six matches against English clubs (D2 L4), since a 1-0 home victory against Chelsea in December 2010. Most recently they lost home (1-2) and away (0-2) against Arsenal in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage.
  • OM won their first six games at home to English visitors but that 2010 success against Chelsea is their sole win in the last six matches (D1 L4).

Stats and facts: City

  • City bowed out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the third season running, going down 3-1 against OM's domestic rivals Lyon in their one-off tie in Lisbon.
  • City had finished first in their group with 14 points (W4 D2) before seeing off Real Madrid in the last 16, winning 2-1 away and at home against the 13-time European champions.
  • This is City’s tenth UEFA Champions League campaign; they have been involved in the group stage every season since 2011/12 and have reached the round of 16 in seven successive campaigns.
  • City have scored 38 goals in their last 14 UEFA Champions League matches; over the last two seasons a record of W14 D3 L3 with 54 goals scored and 22 conceded.
  • Guardiola's team have won seven of their last 11 away European matches (D2 L2), both defeats coming in England; the last away game we lost abroad was at Shakhtar (1-2) on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
  • Defeat by Lyon in last season's quarter-finals made it four European games against French clubs without a win for City (D1 L3), since a 5-3 defeat of Monaco in the 2016/17 round of 16 first leg – a tie Guardiola's side lost on away goals after going down 3-1 in the away game.

Club links

Benjamin Mendy was a Marseille player between 2013 and 2016, making 101 appearances in all competitions before moving to Monaco, from where he joined City the following year. He had been at Le Havre from 2010 to 2013.

Samir Nasri spent four years with Marseille between 2004 and 2008, making 166 appearances for the club.