Manchester City host Czech side Viktoria Plzen at the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League on Wednesday night, with top spot in Group D still up for grabs.
City are currently three points behind leaders Bayern Munich, with both sides already securing qualification to the Round of 16. The German giants travel to Russia to face CSKA Moscow in the other fixture tonight and the Citizens will be keen to post a win over Plzen to keep up with Bayern. The two sides will face each other at the Allianz Arena in the last group stage matchday next month.
However, with qualification already achieved and a tricky Premier League game against Swansea coming up next, City boss Manuel Pellegrini is expected to rotate his squad a little and give a few fringe players some minutes on the pitch. It has been confirmed that England's no.1 Joe Hart will be back in goal, while the likes of Micah Richards, James Milner and Edin Dzeko are also in contention.
City have been in spectacular form at the Etihad of late, beating Norwich City 7-0 and Tottenham Hotspur 6-0 in their last two home games. They had also won the reverse fixture at Plzen 3-0.
Meanwhile, Plzen, who are yet to manage a point, are rockbottom in the group. Europa League is their best chance of European football for the remainder of the season but for that they need to trump CSKA - who are currently three points above them - and finish third. That race could go down to the last matchday, when the two sides are set to meet in the Czech Republic next month.
City: Captain Vincent Kompany has recovered from a thigh injury but is unlikely to feature tonight, while David Silva, Stevan Jovetic (both calf) and Jack Rodwell also remain sidelined.
Plzen: Defender David Limbersky is a doubt for the visitors.
City: Alvaro Negredo seems to have found his feet in Manchester. The Spaniard scored a hat-trick at Moscow in his last European game and also netted two goals in his last three Prmier League matches.
Plzen: Talisman Daniel Kolar has a habit of popping up with goals in both open play and setpieces and the Czech could prove a handful for the City defence tonight.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 1.15 am IST start on Thursday morning, with Ten HD providing live coverage in India. You can catch the action live online from UEFA by clicking the link HERE. To live stream the action in North Africa and the Middle East, click HERE. To watch the match in the U.S., via Fox Sports click HERE. To catch all the action via live streaming in the U.K., click HERE.
City: Hart; Richards, Garcia, Lescott, Kolarov; Milner, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri; Dzeko, Negredo
Plzen: Kozacik; Rajtoral, Cisovsky, Prochazka, Hubnik; Horava, Horvath; Petrzela, Kolar, Duris; Tecl
Prediction: 2-0 to City