Manchester City could opt to rest some of their big stars like Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany against FC Porto, but they'll still be able to field a very competitive lineup that indicates that they're taking the competition seriously. The Dragons aren't having the best season in Europe or domestically, but have the core of the team that won last year's Europa League.
New signings Marc Janko and Lucho Gonzalez will not play, as they are both cup tied. Striker Kleber is ill, meaning that Hulk could move to a center forward position with both of Varela and James Rodriguez getting starts. Djalma has recently returned from the Africa Cup of Nations and could also get some time.
The biggest battle in this match is likely to be down the flanks. Porto's fullbacks are excellent at getting forward and giving them team width when their wide forwards cut inside, but that will provide space with City to counter into. They're great at countering quickly down the wings, so the positional discipline of Danilo and Alvaro Pereira, as well as how well the holding midfield players cover them, will be key.
FC Porto injured/unavailable: Marc Janko, Kleber
Manchester City injured/unavailable: Carlos Tevez
Projected Porto Lineup (4-3-3): Helton; Alvaro Pereira, Nicolas Otamendi, Maicon, Danilo; Fernando, Joao Moutinho, Steven Defour; James Rodriguez, Hulk, Varela
FC Porto vs. Manchester City
Game Date/Time: Thursday, February 16, 3:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. local
Venue: Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal
TV: DirecTV Soccer (USA), ITV1 (UK)