Manchester City kick off their Champions League campaign on Wednesday night as they face Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig at The Etihad.
The Cityzens have had a strong start to the Premier League season with three wins from four games. Pep Guardiola’s side have won their last three league matches without scoring a goal, beating Leicester, Norwich and Arsenal – scoring 11 times in the process.
With City competing in multiple competitions and attempting to win more than one trophy, rotation and keeping players fresh is vitally important. Therefore, Guardiola may look to make a few changes to his side against Leizpig to freshen his XI up after the win over Leicester.
One player who the City boss needs to unleash against Leipzig is Belgian international midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, who is yet to start a competitive game for the club this season.
De Bruyne played 11 minutes off the bench against Tottenham on the opening day of the Premier League season and was an unused substitute against Leicester at the weekend. This suggests that he could now be back fit and in contention to play, as Guardiola deemed him ready enough to be used, if needed, against the Foxes.
The midfielder has shown that he has the quality to be a match-winner for the club. Earlier this year, former Blues defender Micah Richards hailed the 30-year-old as a complete footballer and said that he is one of the best in the world. He said:
“I’ve talked about De Bruyne for so long, he’s just incredible to watch. He says he’s played there before. He’s just a complete footballer.
“He can do both attacking and defensive work. It takes some beating to be better than him, it’s just absolutely incredible. I think he’s consistent.
“He’s so passionate and he wants to show the world what he can do because he’s an absolute gem of a player. He’s one of the best midfielders we’ve ever seen in the Premier League.”
De Bruyne has been named PFA Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons for City, accumulating 19 goals and 32 assists in the two campaigns combined. This shows that he is able to score and assist goals consistently, which is why he is able to be a match-winner for Guardiola.
Therefore, with the ex-Chelsea man now fit and available to play, Guardiola must unleash him against Leipzig this week in the Champions League. It will allow him to gain valuable match fitness to ease him into the season, which will prepare him for a return to Premier League action, whilst also boosting City’s chances of getting their European campaign off to a good start.