Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side have travelled to Germany ahead of the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie. Goals from Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland saw City pick up a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich last week at the Etihad Stadium – so with one foot already in the semifinal, is the pressure off for Guardiola’s side? The Spaniard is notorious for overthinking his tactics ahead of critical fixtures, and a trip to the Allianz Arena can certainly be deemed as critical.
City find themselves in a fierce title race against Arsenal, and it’s fair to say that Bayern are also challenging for domestic silverware. Thomas Tuchel’s side sit just two points clear of Borussia Dortmund, with six games left of this Bundesliga campaign.
However, whoever progresses tonight will face a huge challenge in the next round – as Real Madrid’s victory at Stamford Bridge last night means the Galácticos await the winners. Los Blancos have lifted the illustrious European silverware on fourteen occasions, and with Karim Benzema and Rodrygo in fine goalscoring form, they’re a team that simply cannot be underestimated.
We’re expecting Manchester City to line up in Pep Guardiola’s preferred 3-2-4-1 formation, which was been incredibly effective. Utilising John Stones as a CDM alongside Rodri offers a fantastic versatility, allowing an almost seamless transition from defence to attack by opening up more passing avenues.
City benefit from a fully-fit squad after the return of Phil Foden following surgery on his appendix – though we don’t expect him to start. Jack Grealish seems to have nailed down the left-wing spot in his absence, and after his performances of late it wouldn’t seem right to drop the ex-Villa man.
There have been plenty of rumours regarding Sadio Mané’s selection in the matchday squad following his post-match altercation with Leroy Sané last week. Thomas Tuchel has indicated that the Senegalese winger will be available for selection, though it would be a bold decision to include the ex-Liverpool man in such a crucial fixture given reports that many Bayern players have turned against him.
Bayern are bolstered by the return of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, who missed the first leg of this tie due to a knee injury. The German giants are still without Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernandez as they recover from long-term absences – but the return of a proven goalscorer will be far more important for Tuchel this evening.
Bayern Munich: Sommer; Davies, Upamecano, De Ligt, Pavard; Goretzka, Kimmich; Coman, Musiala, Sané; Choupo-Moting
Manchester City: Ederson; Aké, Akanji, Dias; Rodri, Stones; Grealish, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez; Haaland
Where can I watch?
This exciting game kicks off at 8pm UK time on Wednesday, 19th April at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. In the UK, this fixture will be shown live on BT Sport 1 – with coverage starting at 7pm.