Manchester City have travelled to Germany to face Schalke in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie with them later this evening.
City topped their group with four wins, one draw and one loss in the competition meaning the Blues will be hoping to continue that European form in this fixture.
Their opponents, Schalke, comfortably made it through Group D with just one loss, showing that they are a tough outfit to get the better of.
To do so, Pep Guardiola will need to make some risky decisions. With that being said, the Catalan boss should take different calls on this pair…
Start Ilkay Gundogan
Gundogan has been a revelation of late. The German international has been often scapegoated by City fans in the last year, but his performances recently have won fans over and seemingly pleased the manager, having been trusted to start against Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea all within a week.
The 28-year-old has some tough competition for a starting midfield role with David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and himself all eagerly awaiting the nod to start there. However, over recent weeks he has proved why he should be counted on in such a game.
Also, Gundogan has lots of experience in facing Schalke from his time of Borussia Dortmund so he will know exactly how to produce against them on a big occasion.
Bench Kevin de Bruyne
De Bruyne has recently stepped up his level of performance following his injuries this season, but he should be rested against Schalke.
If Guardiola goes with Gundogan, he is most likely to partner him with David Silva, given that the Spaniard was just used off the bench against Chelsea, meaning De Bruyne can be rested and be on top of his game ahead of the Carabao Cup final in four days.
That way, Guardiola is able to get the best out of his large squad and maintain the seemingly high-level of morale among the side.
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