This is a clash between two of the best team out there, but it will also be a battle between old foes. On one side there’s The Citizens manager Manuel Pellegrini and on the other bench we will see Bayern’s Pep Guardiola.
While Guardiola was the boss of FC Barcelona, Pellegrini mentored Villareal, Real Madrid and Málaga. They met each other eight times during that period and Guardiola won all but one of the encounters, a 3-3 draw in 2008.
Pellegrini may be able to get the best of his Spanish rival this time around. Despite having lost two matches already in the Premier League, against Cardiff and Aston Villa, Manchester City remains a fearsome opponent for everyone. The star-studded team is hard to beat on their home ground, winning all three matches played at home so far this season.
However, Bayern Munich has the best away record in the German Bundesliga this year, winning two and drawing one of the games away from home. Despite people critiquing the way Guardiola goes about his business in Germany, the reigning European champions has won their first Champions League game and are on top of the leaderboard in the Bundesliga.
Sergio Aguero Fit in Time For Champions League Match
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will be fit in time for the match against Bayern Munich, Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed.
The Argentina international was very important on ‘Derby day’ against Manchester United, but he suffered a small injury at the end of that game. Due to this injury he sat out the last two matches, making sure he’s recovered enough for Wednesday. Pellegrini said: “Aguero finished the last derby in the last play with a small pain, I think it was a risk for him to play three games in the same week but he will be absolutely fine for Wednesday”.
The other injured player City has is David Silva. The Spaniard missed the last five matches of his team due to a thigh injury, but he could be fit to return for the visit of Bayern Munich.
Gotze Back For Bayern
Bayern Munich is delighted that key midfielders Mario Gotze and Javi Martinez are on their way back to fitness.
The 21-year-old Mario Gotze has not played a match since the UEFA Super Cup victory over Chelsea FC on 30 August. But last weekend the youngster returned on the bench of Die Roten. He did not play any minutes yet, but Guardiola could use him, if needed, against City.
Javi Martinez was not part of this weekend’s team that defeated VfL Wolfsburg, and probably won’t accompany his mates to Manchester. The Spanish international recently underwent surgery from a groin injury and is still working on this comeback. The same goes for Thiago Alcantara.
As always Joe Hart will start in the goal of City. Defender Demichelis is still out with an injury so Nastasic and captain Kompany will be the heart of the defense. Kolarov will fill the left-back position and opposite of him will be Pablo Zabaleta as right-back.
I don’t see Silva starting on the midfield so Yaya Touré, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri and James Milner will form it most likely.
And now that Sergio Aguero is back Dzeko, who played the last match against Aston Villa, will probably have to make room for the former Atletico Madrid star. The other forward position will be for Álvaro Negredo.
Lineup: Hart – Kolarov, Nastasic, Kompany, Zabaleta – Yaya Touré, Fernandinho, Nasri, Milner – Aguero, Negredo.
Neuer, seen by many as the best goalie worldwide, will start between the posts. Guardiola has often chosen to let Alaba play left-back so Lahm can play on the midfield. I expect he will do the same this match. That means that the defense will be Alaba, Dante, Boateng and Rafinha.
Lahm will play on the midfield alongside fellow German internationals Schweinsteiger and Muller. This trio is known for their intelligence and stamina. Making it very hard for an opponent to get grip on the midfield.
To complete the ‘’new’’ 4-3-3 system implemented by Guardiola are Robben, Mandzukic and Ribéry. The last was recently named UEFA European Player of the Year.
Lineup: Neuer – Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Rafinha – Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Muller – Robben, Mandzukic, Ribéry.
It’s not often that the away team is the favorite against Manchester City however I do think it is the case this time.
City has a great home record like I mentioned before but that is in the Premier League. The Blues always seem to struggle in European matches and I think Bayern will make full use of this.
My prediction: Manchester City 1 – 2 Bayern Munich.