Shakhtar still have plenty more to do to break the perceived duopoly established at the group stage draw in Monaco a month ago.
City's September form has been devastating. The assist-king is still looking for his first goal this season.
Fabian Delph's brief cameo at wing-back on Saturday saw him score a fantastic strike and he could well feature alongside a back three of John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Danilo with Kyle Walker on the opposite wing. Bernardo Silva centred the ball for Raheem Sterling who swept the ball into the back of the net from close range. One of them, Taison, scored their opener against Napoli, while the wingers Bernard and Marlos are also first-team regulars.
Paulo Fonseca will be without the services of Captain Darijo Srna, who is now embroiled in a doping scandal after he tested positive for a banned substance. Taison has repeatedly won Brazil caps, and this time they've invited Fred. "Shakhtar has a lot of high-profile players, with all of them contributing to the success of the team".
Combined with a 4-0 dismantling of Feyenoord in the opening Champions League group game, and a more modest 2-1 victory over West Brom in the Carabao Cup, City's momentum since the last worldwide break has been formidable. It will be the five-time winners' first away game in the Champions League proper since a 2-2 draw at Ludugorets Razgrad in 2014.
Manchester City are yet to play a goalless Champions League game and I can't see that changing this week.
Fonseca says: "They're one of the best teams in the world with one of the best strikers, we've been trying to prepare for the game well, we hope to do well".More news: FIFA scraps ban on poppies on football shirts
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City were pushed all the way by Liverpool for that season's title, with Brendan Rodgers' side also deadly in front of goal as Luis Suarez racked up 31 league goals - with three hat-tricks, including four goals in December's 5-1 win over Norwich - and Daniel Sturridge added 21.
Shakhtar fans wishing to watch their team play in their current lodgings face a 600km round trip from Donetsk to this former home of the now defunct FC Metalist Kharkiv, who went out of business previous year.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some talking points ahead of the game.
The Ukrainian champions are not to be underestimated.
De Bruyne nearly turned provider after 69 minutes with an enterprising run down the right and flawless cross which substitute Raheem Sterling side-footed wide on the volley although City had to survive a late penalty appeal after the ball struck John Stones's arm.