Dubai: Pep Guardiola, the former Bayern Munich manager, will lead Manchester City without sentiment in the Champions League quarter-final second leg at Allianz Arena on Wednesday night in a very comfortable position.
City won the first leg at the Etihad Stadium 3-0 against the faltering Germans. It appears to be job done for Guardiola and co and it will take an impressive performance by Bayern if they are to have any chance of making the semi-finals.
In their last match they drew against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga and hold just a two-point lead over Borussia Dortmund. They have only won two out of their first five games since Thomas Tuchel took over as head coach and only have one clean sheet to show from their last seven. That is a worrisome statistic what with Erling Haaland in such hot form.
Although Bayern have not failed to score in a competitive fixture at the Allianz Arena for over three years, no team has ever progressed from a Champions League knockout tie when losing the first leg by three goals or more, and none have done so since Liverpool’s infamous Barcelona comeback of 2019.
City, who are in full swing, have won ten successive games across all competitions and are 14 unbeaten. They have scored at least three goals in each of their last six fixtures. However, they failed to win any of their away games in this season’s Champions League group stage against Dortmund, Copenhagen, and RB Leipzig and this will give Bayern a little hope.
Attacking duo Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane were involved in a dressing room bust-up after the first leg with the latter suffering a swollen lip from a punch. Mane missed the Hoffenheim match but is available to face City and it will be interesting to see if Tuchel starts with them both up front following the fracas.
Bayern will be without long-term absentees Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernandez while youngsters Paul Wanner and Gabriel Marusic are also out.
City only have one absent player, Phil Foden, who is recovering from appendix surgery but is expected to return before the end of the month.
With City firing on all cylinders and goal-machine Haaland scoring at will, they should feel confident of avoiding an upset in Germany and booking their spots in the last four.