- Manchester City head to the Allianz Arena with a three-goal lead after easing to a comfortable 3-0 victory against Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final matchup.
- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is set to return after recovering from a knee injury in what is a big boost for the hosts, whilst Sadio Mane will also return to the squad after his altercation with Leroy Sane in the first leg.
- City are in pole position to face either Real Madrid or Chelsea in the semi-final, with a treble also still on the cards.
Choupo-Moting has returned to full training ahead of the second leg here after missing the previous three fixtures due to a knee injury, including the first leg defeat at the Etihad Stadium. His return will help add a necessary focal point to the Bayern attack - one that was sorely missed in the first meeting.
Mane was dropped from the squad by head coach Thomas Tuchel for their match with Hoffenheim at the weekend after he punched teammate Leroy Sane following Bayern’s first leg loss last week. However, the Senegalese international is expected to return to the squad for the return leg here. Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernandez remain out as they continue in their recoveries from a broken leg and an ACL rupture respectively.
Phil Foden has returned to training ahead of the clash in Munich as his recovery from appendix surgery is near its completion. He is yet to feature for City so far this month and it is still up in the air whether he will travel to Germany for the second leg.
The 22-year-old’s return means that Pep Guardiola will have a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the clash and he should have a fresh team to choose from too, having taken off a number of key players early on against Leicester City on Saturday in their 3-1 win.
Champions League Form
City were near perfect in their 3-0 triumph over Bayern last week. A Rodri wonder strike on his weaker left foot gave them a first half lead before Bernardo Silva and, of course, Erling Haaland, completed the performance. John Stones also starred in his new role as a defensive midfielder in possession and his leaping header in the second half set-up Haaland’s goal late on.
The Citizens remain undefeated in the Champions League so far this term and have also kept back-to-back clean sheets, scoring a mammoth ten goals in their last two games. Their attacking talent is clearly an intimidating one but they have also been sound defensively, conceding just three goals through nine games in this season’s competition.
Visitors Bayern saw their 100% record in Europe crash and burn in Manchester last week as they let in three goals - more than they had conceded in every other Champions League match combined this term!
Nevertheless, they have yet to concede a single goal at the Allianz in the Champions League during this year’s campaign but it will take some comeback if they are to turn the tide in this tie.
UCL 22/23 Key Stats:
Goals For: Bayern 21, Man City 25
Goals Against: Bayern 5, Man City 3
Both Teams To Score %: Bayern 11%, Man City 33%
Over 2.5 Goals %: Bayern 44%, Man City 67%
Bayern do have the upper hand in terms of head-to-head when they have played City at home. Out of the three matches, they have recorded two wins, to City’s one. Guardiola led his Bayern team to 1-0 victory in the 2014/15 Champions League group stage thanks to a goal from Jerome Boateng but they need a much bigger offensive display this time around if they are to progress.
Man City are hot on Arsenal’s tail in the race for the Premier League title. The Gunners dropped points once more at the weekend, making it consecutive matches without a win, meaning City have moved to just four points behind Mikel Arteta’s side with a game in hand. With an eagerly anticipated clash between City and Arsenal at the Etihad coming up, we are set for an exhilarating end to the campaign.
Guardiola’s tactical tweaks have seen his side go on a run of 14 games without defeat in all competitions, winning their last ten consecutive matches. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they went on and won every single match from now until the end of the season and with a potential treble still in the works, City could be in line for a historical campaign. However, the job isn’t done yet in the Champions League and they still need to see off Bayern here.
It certainly hasn’t been plain sailing for Bayern so far this term, despite them still leading the way in the Bundesliga standings. They lead Borussia Dortmund by just two points and have dropped points in two of their last five league fixtures, including being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Hoffenheim last Saturday.
Tuchel has failed to adjust quickly to life in Munich and has failed to win in three out of his last five matches in all competitions, also being eliminated from the DFB Pokal earlier this month. A Champions League exit appears to be on the horizon and the pressure is on for the former Dortmund coach as the season heads towards its climactic conclusion.
Prediction & Suggested Bets
Bayern Munich 2-2 Manchester City @ 11/1 The hosts will have to come out on the offensive if they are to get back into the tie and that could leave plenty of space open for a high-scoring affair. With Choupo-Moting back, that should help the Bayern attack and help bring in the likes of Sane, Mane, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry into play.
Bayern To Receive Most Cards @ 6/5 Bayern have picked up a high number of cards of late and have not been bettered in terms of bookings by any of their opposition in their past five games. They also picked up more cards in the first leg and City don’t need to do anything rash, whilst the home side have everything to play for to try and claw their way back into the game.
Benjamin Pavard To Commit 2+ Fouls @ 7/5 Pavard struggled at the Etihad and received a booking, as well as committing four fouls. The Frenchman has been struggling with ill-discipline of late and has picked up three yellow cards in his last five appearances. He was also dismissed in the first leg of their last 16 tie and could get caught with the speed on the counter by City.
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