Bayern Munich vs Manchester City – Preview

Bayern Munich vs Manchester City – Preview

Manchester City have drawn Bayern Munich in the group stages for the second year running,  and for the third time in the past four Champions League campaigns. Both Pep Guardiola and Manuel Pellegrini saw domestic success last year in their first seasons in charge. Whilst Manchester City’s league triumph came through at the end of a nail biting Premier League finish, Bayern had won the league with a record seven games to play. Last season marked City’s first progression into the knockout stages after two previous failed attempts, but they failed to make it to the quarter finals after being knocked out by Barcelona in the last sixteen.

City proved they had the fire-power and determination to cause teams problems last year and they even clinched a 3-2 victory away from home against Bayern in the final game of the group stages. The media also had a field day after Manuel Pellegrini took off a striker when City only needed one more goal to take the top spot in the group. This time around, Bayern are clear favourites for the bookies, but they will be without Frank Ribery, and Arjen Robben is also a doubt. That could be another two added to an injury list that includes Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago Alcantara, Rafinha and Javi Martinez. Manchester City are without Pablo Zabaleta through suspension and Steven Jovetic and Fernando through injury. Pellegrini is still serving a UEFA touchline ban in wake of the comments he made about the referee and his decisions in City’s 2-1 defeat against Barcelona in the first leg of the last 16 earlier this year.

Despite Bayern’s injury list, they still possess a lethal attack that consists of Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. City could well bring in £32 million summer signing Eliaquim Mangala for his debut to partner Vincent Kompany in the centre of defence. Despite Martin Demichelis’s strong finish to last season, Pellegrini may feel his lack of pace will leave them too exposed at the back and Eliaquim Mangala does have previous European experience.  It will be a gruelling week for City who played Arsenal in a close fought game last weekend and who also face Chelsea on Sunday.

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