Champions League final: Man City & Inter Milan starting XIs as Pep Guardiola drops key defender

The Manchester City manager has made two changes from last weekend’s team.
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Pep Guardiola has made two changes from last weekend’s FA Cup-winning starting XI, for the Champions League final against Inter Milan in Istanbul.

The decision to drop Stefan Ortega for Ederson had already been confirmed, but there was one shock as Kyle Walker was omitted from the side, with Nathan Ake replacing him. The Dutchman has struggled with a hamstring injury over recent weeks, but Guardiola has opted for the ex-Chelsea man at left-back, meaning Manuel Akanji is expected to switch switch to the opposite flank. At the heart of defence, Ruben Dias and John Stones retained their places, although the latter will most probably push up into midfield when Manchester City have possession.

Ahead of the defence, it’s the same three that impressed in the FA Cup final, with Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne in midfield. It’s the expected trio up top as well, and Bernardo Silva will line up on the right, Jack Grealish on the left and top scorer Erling Haaland through the middle. That means Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez have been named on the bench.

As for Inter, they have gone as expected with a 3-5-2 shape that doesn’t feature Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the starting XI. The ex-Manchester United midfielder has struggled with a hamstring injury in recent weeks and was only deemed fit enough for the bench. Ex-Premier League stars Matteo Darmian and Edin Dzeko have been named in Simone Inzaghi’s starting line-up, as has star striker Lutauro Martinez.

City starting XI: Ederson, Akanji, Dias, Stones, Ake; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Silva, Haaland, Grealish.

Substitutes: Ortega, Carson, Laporte, Walker, Gomez, Lewis, Phillips, Parrone, Foden, Palmer, Mahrez, Alvarez.

Inter starting XI: Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Dzeko, Martinez.

Substitutes: Handanovic, Cordaz, Gagliardini, De Vrij, Gosens, Correa, Bellanova, Asllani, Mkhitaryan, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Lukaku.