Manchester City host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their huge UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash against reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. This could well be the biggest game of the quarter-final round and see the two of the best of their respective countries come to blows.
The Citizens are still pushing for their first-ever Champions League title and face a side that knocked out Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round. Both sides are glittered with world-class players who can decide the tides of the tie.
City are still looking to get rid of the ‘chokers’ tag in the Champions League – having failed to win it for many years despite coming close. Thomas Tuchel is aiming to win his second Champions League title in three years, having defeated the Citizens in the 2020/21 Champions League final as Chelsea manager.
Pep Guardiola faces his former side and looks to guide his in-form City side to a perfect finish to the season, which starts by winning this quarter-final. This tie between two exciting, attack-minded sides should produce many fireworks and live up to its reputation.
Last 5 Games
Manchester City are definitely the side in better form heading into this clash, having won their last five games across all competitions in dominant fashion. They’ve scored 22 goals in their last five overall games, while Bayern have already lost one of their three games under Tuchel so far.
Win: 4-1 vs Southampton
Win: 4-1 vs Liverpool
Win: 6-0 vs Burnley
Win: 7-0 vs RB Leipzig
Win: 1-0 vs Crystal Palace
Win: 1-0 vs Freiburg
Loss: 2-1 vs Freiburg
Win: 4-2 vs Borussia Dortmund
Loss – 2-1 vs Bayer Leverkusen
Win: 5-3 vs Augsburg
Predicted Starting Lineups
For Manchester City, the biggest advantage heading into this game is that they almost have a fully fit squad available. Phil Foden remains the only possible absentee for them.
That is because the Englishman underwent hernia surgery last month and is still out as he works on recovering from that.
Bayern Munich will be missing key forward Eric Choupo-Moting for this game after he failed to recover from a knee injury. They already have a few key players missing this game due to injury problems.
That includes defender Lucas Hernandez, who is out for the rest of the season alongside club captain Manuel Neuer – who fractured his leg in a freak skiing accident after the Qatar World Cup.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Grealish, Haaland
Bayern Munich: Sommer, Cancelo, Pavard, De Ligt, Davies, Kimmich, Goretzka, Sane, Musiala, Mane, Gnabry
Manchester City have had a pretty competitive head-to-head record against Bayern Munich since they first met in the Champions League way back in 2011. The Citizens have won three games out of the six meetings against Bayern, losing three times as well.
The last time they met was in the group stages in the 2014/15 Champions League. The Citizens were victors in the game thanks to a brilliant hat trick scored by Sergio Aguero. Pep Guardiola will hope Erling Haaland can do something similar this time around.
Where the game will be decided
City and Bayern both boast two extremely dangerous attacking lines that are well capable of tormenting any side on their day. This game will put that theory to the test as the English and German giants aim to thrill the crowd with some end-to-end attacking football.
City, of course, have the added home-field advantage and are heading into this game in a better run of form too. They have the best goal-scorer in European football in the form of Haaland, while Bayern are unlikely to be able to play with a natural center-forward.
A lot of enticing battles will take place in this game. Be it Haaland vs Matthijs de Ligt, Kevin de Bruyne vs Joshua Kimmich, or Jamal Musiala vs Rodri, we’re guaranteed to see fireworks flying all over the pitch.
The entire Bayern backline will have to put in their season-best performance to keep this kind of flying City frontline and Haaland in particular quiet in this game and give their forward stars like Mane, Musiala, and Leroy Sane to take the fight to City.
The game will ultimately be decided on which team can be the more clinical of the lot. Both teams should get plenty of chances to score, but the one who can be the most ruthless in finishing them away should be able to head into the second leg with an advantage.
We back Man City to get a narrow win from this game, mostly because of just how amazing their current run of form is. The Citizens take things up a few notches at home and have a lot of key players clicking at the right point of the season.
Bayern are still adapting to Tuchel’s tactics and showed signs of vulnerability in the loss to Freiburg recently. They should be able to test City’s defensive side and possibly score against them too, but probably don’t have the firepower to defeat them on the day.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Bayern Munich
Manchester City to win: 14/19
Bayern Munich to win: 69/20
City are definitely the bookmaker’s favorite to win this game with 14/19 betting odds. That means if one was to bet $1 on them to win and that ends up being the case, they’d get a return of $1.74 – with a $0.74 return.
Bayern, however, have harrowing 69/20 odds. This means if one was to bet on the Bavarians to win the game with a $1 bet, they would get a $4.45 return – with a whopping $3.45 profit.
*By BetUS At the time of writing
The game will kick off at 20:00 GMT and the referee for the match will be Jesus Gil.