"They have players with lots of quality and experience and to me they are one of the teams that can win the Champions League".
Vincent Kompany has also been left behind because of a calf injury but goalkeeper Ederson Moraes is in contention despite suffering a facial injury in Saturday's 5-0 victory over Liverpool.
Last month's draw for the opening round of fixtures could not have been much kinder either with them long odds-on to get the better of Qarabag at Stamford Bridge, and Basel at Old Trafford, respectively.
And everyone has an opinion; BBC Match of the Day pundits Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Ian Wright all said that they would have "gone for the ball" while Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher and former Manchester United defender Phil Neville both took a far dimmer view of Mane's actions.
And Reds' manager Jurgen Klopp, looking at losing his man for three games for risky play, said Mane "didn't see" the onrushing Ederson as he was focusing on the ball and their "unlucky" collision was "an accident".
"I prefer to see red cards for intent and deliberate violent conduct". Accident or not it is a red card.
Power Outages Continue To Drop In Georgia After Irma
Georgia Power reported about 50 customers in western Butts County were without power. Don't step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may be present .
The 42-year-old former Dutch worldwide, who guided the team to the Eredivisie title last season, is looking forward to going up against Pep Guardiola's expensively-assembled City side at De Kuip in the Group F opener on Wednesday.
Lineker agreed, saying "You've got to go for that".
"You know if you flick that past him, you've got an open goal".
Mane posted: "I hope and wish Ederson a quick recovery".
"I'l try to put my best team on the pitch".
Morata brings plenty of experience at the sharp end of this competition too having won it with Real Madrid in 2014 and 2017 and I am sure Conte feels this is the arena where the Spaniard will thrive most.