Foot Predictions shows Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City, including hunches, news about the teams and possible lineups.
Borussia Monchengladbach to assume Manchester City at Puskas Arena on Wednesday, in the first leg of the Champions League tie in the round of 16.
It is the first time that Gladbach has disputed the knockout stage of the Champions League, although they reached the final of the former European Cup in 1977, while Man City seeks to win the competition for the first time in the club’s history.
After a promising start to the campaign, the wind has been blown out of the Gladbach campaign sails in recent weeks, with poor results exacerbated by the confirmation that his manager Marco Rose will leave the club for Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
In fact, Saturday’s terrible 2-1 defeat at home to Mainz 05 leaves Gladbach eighth in the Bundesliga and nine points behind the Champions League qualifying positions.
Given the current form of Man City, Gladbach fans may want to savor every moment of the 180 minutes against Pep Guardiolaof the team, as it may be the last time he sees his big club in Europe’s elite competition for at least a few seasons.
Die Fohlen still has considerable quality within its ranks, which potentially makes life difficult for elected English champions, although with Alassane Plea particularly enjoying themselves in the Champions League this season, having scored five goals in the group stage, with Rose’s team finishing impressively in second place, ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan to move on.
Man City’s 1-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday extended their winning streak to an impressive 18 consecutive matches in all competitions, with Raheem Sterlingheadbutting in the second minute proving enough to keep Mikel Artetaside of the extended arm.
Threateningly for the rest of England and Europe, Guardiola’s team rarely looks like they will concede goals at the moment, having kept eight clean sheets in the last 10 Premier League games. They have only suffered once in six games along the way to comfortably lead Group C as well.
When you combine such a formidable defensive history with the variety of attack options that Guardiola has at your disposal, it’s perfectly understandable why many people believe that this may be the year that Man City will win the Champions League for the first time.
However, that same assumption has been made several times in recent seasons, with The Citizens failing for different reasons on each occasion. In fact, they should have few problems against Gladbach, but it is not yet known how they will fare against a club that operates at an elite level similar to theirs later in the competition.
Borussia Monchengladbach Champions League form: DDWWLL
Borussia Monchengladbach form (all competitions): WDWLDL
Manchester City Champions League form: WWWWDW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWWWWW
All news from the teams
Gladbach seems to have no injury or suspension problems to contend with before the trip to Budapest, leaving Rose with many selection problems to ponder.
Breel Embolo could launch an attack to pose a threat behind the defense of Man City, with Denis Zakaria he is also likely to enter the starting eleven to strengthen the midfield.
Man City, meanwhile, remains without the injured Nathan Ake, but has the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne available again.
Rodri and Phil Foden were rested against Arsenal, so they are likely to return to Guardiola’s starting eleven, with Kyle Walker an option to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Possible initial lineup for Borussia Monchengladbach:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Kramer, Neuhaus, Zakaria; Plea, Embolo, Hofmann
Possible initial lineup for Manchester City:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Silva, Gundogan; Foden, De Bruyne, Sterling
Probability: Borussia Monchengladbach 0-2 Manchester City
Given the lack of home advantage for Gladbach and the contrasting form between the two teams, we can imagine a comfortable victory for Man City.
It is difficult to see Rose’s team even scoring beyond Man City, let alone winning a positive result to remain realistic in the tie.
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