Manchester City could be put through their paces when they welcome Borussia Dortmund in the second UEFA Champions League group stage match.
Manchester City will be ready for their first significant test on the continental stage when they take on the mighty Borussia Dortmund which is touted to be one of the most intriguing clashes.
Erling Haaland had spearheaded Borussia Dortmund’s UEFA Champions League campaign previously, and he will be up against the team that launched him on the biggest stage. The Norwegian forward already has hit the ground running, and with the help of Manchester City’s attacking firepower, he will only grow bigger this time.
Borussia Dortmund have produced some definitive defensive performances since the start of the season. Except for the RB Leipzig game, where his team was horribly exposed, Edin Terzic has worked tirelessly to shape up their defence, and the result is pretty evident as they had kept three successive clean sheets in all competitions before Leipzig came all guns blazing.
It won’t be an easy task for Manchester City to breach the Dortmund wall, as having worked with Haaland for a long time, the visitors are aware of the threat he poses. And if any team is capable of halting his juggernaut, it should be the German side.
Pep Guardiola does not need to be introduced, as the Manchester City boss has been at the top of his game since he started managing clubs. But the curious case of Dortmund could be an interesting battle to follow as Guardiola has not always found his mojo whenever he faced them.
In 13 competitive meetings, Guardiola does have the upper hand with eight wins. But four defeats and one draw would suggest the Catalan gaffer does not really relish facing the Black and Yellows.
Team News & Tactics
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 13, 2022
Manchester City have strung a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and Pep Guardiola always has a quest of winning the first two games in the group stage which eventually makes their way smooth to the next stage.
Last season’s defeat against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals could be a wake-up call for the English giants. And the Manchester City supporters are dreaming of some success on the continental front.
Kyle Walker limped off in the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, and the English defender might have to sit out this game. Both John Stones and Aymeric Laporte have trained with the team, but the game might be too soon for the latter as he is still building his fitness.
Luck has not been on Manchester City’s side when it comes to injuries, but their superior squad depth and Pep Guardiola’s brilliant man management skills have been able to put down the flames. Ederson will keep his place in the goal. Manuel Akanji marked his Manchester City debut with a good all-round performance, and the Swiss defender will be reunited with his former club.
Ruben Dias has made a seamless transition since arriving from Benfica, and he will have the job to thwart the Borussia Dortmund attack. Sergio Gomez gave a good account of himself at left-back, and he should be ready for some action after a well-managed rest over the weekend.
Joao Cancelo has been an ever-present in the Manchester City lineup, and he will be stationed on the right side of the defence. Rodri will be the deepest midfielder, while Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will try to build the attacks from the midfield.
Jack Grealish’s below-par display should allow Riyad Mahrez to take his place on the side. The winger should start on the right flank, while Phil Foden will try to make some inroads from the left channel. Erling Haaland will lead the Manchester City attack against Borussia Dortmund.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Akanji, Dias, Gomez; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Foden
Edin Terzic is sweating over the fitness of Thorgan Hazard, and if he fails to make it on time Giovanni Reyna will take his place. The German giants are already without a number of influential names as Sebastien Haller, Mahmoud Dahoud, Mateu Morey, Gregor Kobel and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens are treating themselves for various injuries.
Alexander Meyer will deputise in the Borussia Dortmund goal. Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Sule will be given the responsibility to keep Haaland under wraps.
Raphael Guerreiro will start on the left side of the Borussia Dortmund defence, while Thomas Meunier will take his usual place on the right flank. The pair of Jude Bellingham and Salih Ozcan could prove to be a handful if they maintain their shape throughout the game.
The evergreen Marco Reus will start just behind the main striker. Julian Brandt and Giovanni Reyna will operate from the left and right wing, respectively. Anthony Modeste will be the lone forward for Borussia Dortmund against Manchester City.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meyer; Meunier, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro; Ozcan, Bellingham; Reyna, Reus, Brandt; Modeste
- This will be the third instance in a Champions League season where Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund will have faced each other. The reigning English champions failed to beat the Germans in the 2012/13 group stage but came back to win both the matches when they faced them in the 2020/21 quarter-finals.
- Since October 2013, Borussia Dortmund have not registered a single away win against English opponents. They lost against Arsenal and Manchester City and could not beat Spurs twice.
- Manchester City have piled 30 goals against German clubs at their home while winning the last eight home games. This means they have averaged more than three goals per game.
- Manchester City are currently unbeaten in their last 20 home games in the UEFA Champions League. Only Chelsea have a better record than them.
- Manchester City’s 55.3% win percentage could only be matched by Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona who have a higher win rate.
Players to Watch
If Pep Guardiola is to end his wait for a UEFA Champions League title at Manchester City, Haaland would have to play a very key role in his plan. The in-form striker is tailor-made for this competition, it seems, as his love for Champions League continued to evolve season after season.
Manchester City 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Manchester City will be fresh after receiving some rest on the weekend, and Pep Guardiola would definitely want to kill the game from the very first moment. Borussia Dortmund’s harrowing loss to RB Leipzig could have a harrowing effect on them, and they are unlikely to deal with that amount of pressure. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-0 win for the hosts.