Dubai: Manchester City and Bayern Munich, champions of England and Germany respectively, will face off at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
While City’s recent form is impressive, Bayern have won all eight Champions League games this season, making this a true heavyweight clash. The German club are unbeaten in four trips to England winning three but will face a potent City attack lead by goal-scoring machine Erling Haaland.
City secured an eighth consecutive win by beating Southampton 4-1 and remain in contention for the Premier League title. During this winning run, they have scored 31 goals, with their top scorer, Haaland, scoring 30 league goals this season and 10 in just six Champions League outings.
However, Haaland has never enjoyed much success against Bayern, losing all seven encounters while with Borussia Dortmund.
City have won two of their three meetings with Bayern at the Etihad. Their only defeat on home soil was when Pep Guardiola was in the away dugout with the German side.
Meanwhile, Bayern have been unconvincing domestically, despite sitting atop the Bundesliga. Their new coach, Thomas Tuchel, faces increased pressure to deliver a solid performance. They have conceded two or more goals on five occasions in their last 16 matches, keeping just six clean sheets. They are up against arguably the best attacking side in Europe, with a prolific forward in the form of Haaland. Tuchel will have to tighten Bayern up defensively to keep City at bay.
Guardiola will have a nearly fully fit squad, with Phil Foden the only absentee. The City manager may not tinker much with his lineup, with Bernardo Silva possibly replacing Riyad Mahrez.
Bayern will be without a natural centre-forward, with Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting set to miss out due to a knee problem. Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry may be used in a central role, with Leon Goretzka expected to return to the side.
This promises to be an exciting and closely contested match. City’s recent form suggests they can beat any team, but Bayern’s record in England and their unbeaten Champions League run this season make them a formidable opponent.