Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Bayern Munich

City set to take on European Champions

By Aaron Leggott

After a convincing win in the Czech Republic a fortnight ago, Manchester City are getting ready to face a totally different challenge this evening in the Champions League.

That challenge comes in the form of current holders Bayern Munich, who travel to the Etihad for the second time in three years. That game saw City come out as comfortable 2-0 winners, but it was essentially a dead rubber with Bayern resting a number of key players.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

But Manuel Pellegrini will be under no illusions that this task will be extremely difficult tonight. Coming into the game unbeaten domestically, Pep Guardiola's side also comfortably beat CSKA Moscow 3-0 in Matchday 1 - a statement which proves that they will be ready to fight to become the first team to retain the prestigious competition. 

Pellegrini will be boosted by the news that both David Silva and Sergio Agüero are fit and in contention for a start against the German champions. Silva has been out of action for almost a month after picking up a thigh injury on international duty, whilst Agüero was left out of the squad that lost against Aston Villa at the weekend after picking up a knock against Manchester United.

However, the Chilean's record doesn't look too good against Guardiola. Between 2008 and 2012, he was unable to register a win against his Spanish counterpart - a record spanned over his management spells at Villarreal, Real Madrid and Málaga. 

Ahead of the tie, Pellegrini has insisted that the Blues will have to be at their best if they want to beat Bayern. 

He said: "We need to play for 90 minutes in the best way, knowing that with every mistake or error we can concede a goal. It is very important to concentrate for the whole 90 minutes.

"We will to try to win our points at home – Bayern is a very strong team but we’re also in a good moment and hopefully we can get the three points here.

"We never think about a draw. If we cannot win it’s better to draw than lose but we’re not going to go onto the pitch thinking a draw against Bayern. From the first minute we will go for three points."

Below are highlights of the previous meeting between the two sides, which finished 2-0 to City.

My thoughts

This will be a very tough game for City tonight, and if you were to give me a draw right now, I'd snatch your hand off. However, we all need to be realistic here: City are considered to be one of the biggest teams in Europe and I'm sure Bayern weren't too impressed to be drawn alongside us - as arguably one of the toughest third seeds in the group draw.

Being unbeaten in 20 European home games (a record stretching back to 2008) will give the players confidence heading into this clash, and everyone will need to be at the top of their game if we want a positive result tonight. Yaya Touré, Vincent Kompany and Agüero will all prove to be key and as the spine of our team, need to put in big performances tonight.

Prediction: City 1 - 1 Bayern Munich

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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