After two consecutive pre-mature exits from the Champions League which saw them unable to advance through from the group stages, City will be looking to improve their record this time around. With the squad the Citizens have on hand, especially the plethora of attacking talent one must say that Manchester City should cruise their way to the next round.
City now have at helm a proven tactician in Manuel Pellegrini who has reveled in European competitions in the past having done reasonably well with both Villarreal and Malaga during his spells at the Spanish clubs and now the Chilean will be aiming to repeat his antics with Manchester City, whose owners are quite desperate to establish their club as a European powerhouse and have made all sorts of investments for their goals to be achieved.
This time around Manchester City have been placed in a relatively easier group than they were last time around, however the side they face next was arguably the best European side last season. Under the tutelage of Jupp Heynckes Bayern Munich won a historic treble and their incoming manager Pep Guardiola aims to lead the Bavarians to another campaign of dominance.
The German champions have been on an incredible run and have lost just two points in the Bundesliga which puts them second in the league table behind rivals Borussia Dortmund. A Bayern attack which is arguably the most lethal in Europe will be difficult to deal for a City defense which has often crumbled too easily this season.
The Citizens suffered their first defeat at the hands of newly promoted Cardiff who defeated the oil rich club 3-2 and last week City fell to Aston Villa by a similar score line at Villa Park. The City defense will have to be as resilient as ever on Wednesday against a free scoring Bayern side who will punish them given any opportunity.
To make matters worse for City, Manuel Pellegrini who otherwise boasts a decent reputation has never defeated Pep Guardiola during his stints at Villarreal, Malaga and Real Madrid. The two men have met eight times between 2008 and 2012 and Guardiola has emerged victorious on seven occasions with the only draw coming back in May 2009, when Guardiola’s Barcelona drew 3-3 against Pellegrini’s Villarreal.
Last time Bayern and Manchester City met in the Champions League was back in 2011 in the group stages. The first leg earned a lot of media coverage courtesy of City’s former Argentinean forward Carlos Tevez who refused to come on the pitch. City lost the first match 2-0 and even though they managed a 2-0 victory in the return fixture it was not enough to earn them qualification to the next round.
City however will be boosted by the return of David Silva who returned to training so did star forward Sergio Aguero who was rested in the 3-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Both men are now in contention to start against Bayern.
City however will be without summer acquisition Martin Demichelis who is yet to play a single minute for his new side.
Former Dortmund star Mario Gotze who has only recently returned from an ankle injury was an unused substitute during the 1-0 victory over Wolfsburg, but could feature in Manchester on Wednesday.
Thiago Alcantara (ankle) and Javi Martinez (knee) remain long-term absentees and will miss out on the Champions League tie.
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