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July 22 2018, 11:50 | Van Peters
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Pep Guardiola will not want one defeat to turn into two, but there are no real suggestions, on Wednesday night's evidence, that will be the case.
Silva, who scored the pivotal victor against West Ham United on Sunday, was left out of the City squad that travelled to Kharkiv for their final Champions League group game against Shakhtar Donetsk. The good news for Shakhtar is that they can replace Taison with Viktor Kovalenko, a really talented young midfielder who just can't get into the team because Taison, Bernard and Marlos are so good.
Especially as only four of City's regular starters - Ederson, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus - played against Shakhtar, and that the last named has lost his place to Sergio Aguero in recent weeks anyway.
After some emphatic wins in the autumn, City have been finding the going tougher recently with West Ham the latest team to take Pep Guardiola's side to the wire. The centre-backs - Victor (Lindelof) is in fantastic form right now. Brahim and Foden are City's two brightest youth prospects and any first-team opportunities can not be taken for granted. "The way we are playing, it's like when you are young and you always wanted to play". Those preparations will start before City even leave Ukraine.
De Bruyne, who played an instrumental part in City's winning goal against West Ham on Sunday reckons this derby will not one to miss, with United looking to close the gap between the two Manchester clubs.
The incident came after Raheem Sterling's late victor sent the Etihad into pandemonium, setting them up for a record-equalling 13th consecutive Premier League victory against West Ham on Sunday.
De Bruyne said: "Obviously it's more hard when the other team has 11 behind the ball, it takes more time, but the late goals are evidence of them getting exhausted with the way that we play".