FC Basel v Manchester City

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane could make a surprise return for the first leg of Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 tie away to Swiss side Basel.

Germany winger Sane had initially been ruled out for six weeks with an ankle ligament injury sustained in City’s FA Cup win over Cardiff on 28 January.

But City manager Pep Guardiola said the 22-year-old is back ahead of schedule.

“He’s not in perfect condition but he is with us. The physios did a good job,” Guardiola said.

“He wants to help us. I’m surprised. He has worked a lot, but I didn’t expect with a young guy how professional he was.”

Spain playmaker David Silva and left-back Fabian Delph are also back in contention for the Premier League leaders after overcoming respective hip and knee problems.

Guardiola has a doubt over record signing Aymeric Laporte after the French centre-back did not take a full part in training ahead of the tie at St Jakob-Park,

City defender Benjamin Mendy and striker Gabriel Jesus are both long-term absentees with knee injuries.

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City captain Vincent Kompany says his team-mates enter the knockout stage of the Champions League in a confident frame of mind.

“If there is a year, a time, a moment when the club is ready to feel at home in the competition then it’s now,” Kompany said.

“I’m not going to say it’s a matter of time because some clubs never win it.

“But, if every year we can go in with this kind of confidence, then if not this year, or next year, eventually we’ll get there. I’m sure of it.”

Basel coach Raphael Wicky, whose side are second in the Swiss Super League, acknowledged City are an “unbelievably strong” team but believes his side are still capable of an upset.

“We need a perfect game, we must show lots of courage and the fans have to be behind us. Everything must come together,” he said.

“We must have a perfect evening to pull off a surprise. But we believe we can do it.”

Basel will check on the fitness of defender Eder Balanta (thigh) and midfielder Luca Zuffi (foot) but goalkeeper Germano Vailati (shoulder) is out.

Match facts

  • This will be the first competitive meeting between Basel and Manchester City.
  • Basel have won four of their last five home games against English clubs in the Champions League (L1).
  • Manchester City have won only one of their six away games in the Champions League knockout stages (D1 L4).
  • City have made it past the last-16 stage only once in 2015-16 when they reached the semi-finals and were knocked out by Real Madrid.
  • Basel striker Dimitri Oberlin has scored four goals in his last five Champions League games.
  • Raheem Sterling has scored four goals in five Champions League appearances this season.