The UEFA Champions League (UCL) returns tonight with some mouth-watering clashes taking place this week and the following week. The competition promises to be fierce as we are left with the final 8 teams. We are ready to witness one such clash when current EPL leaders Manchester City lock horns with Borussia Dortmund tonight at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. While Man City is yet to win a Champions League, Dortmund has won the title but only once. Manchester City will be definitely looking forward to improving their Quarter-finals record after having got eliminated at this stage in each of the last three seasons. On the other hand, Dortmund has qualified for the Quarter-finals (UCL)for the first time after the 16-17 season.
Why Should You be Watching?
The encounter promises to be thrilling and most probably we are going to witness goals galore in this fixture. There will be a lot of world-class attacking talent on display with the likes of Haaland, Aguero, Marco Reus, and Kevin De Bruyne being available to play for their respective side. The kick-off is scheduled at 00:30 IST(Wednesday) and 19:00 GMT.
The club from Manchester is high on confidence, thanks to their recent performances. Their main squad is fully fit with no fresh injury or problem creeping in. Their last game was against Leicester away from home, which they managed to win 2-0 comfortably. Pep Guardiola made his team play with his usual 4-2-3-1 formation against Leicester on Saturday. Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus scored the goals for City. Spanish youngster Ferran Torres also came on to replace Aguero later in the game. Overall, the team is in red-hot form and is looking in great shape.
Manchester City form: WWWWW
The German side is going through a phase of poor form domestically. They have managed to win only one out of their last 4 games. Despite that, the team is unbeaten in their last 7 European games(won 5 drew 2). This should act as a confidence booster for the team. A major setback for BVB is Sancho’s thigh injury, which makes him unavailable for this tie. Other than Sancho, they will also be without the services of defensive midfielder Axel Witsel and center-back Dan-Axel Zagadou. Dortmund’s display in their last game was not impressive as they were beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt at home, thanks to a late goal by Andre Silva. The team would be surely looking to get back to winning ways and continue their unbeaten streak in UCL.
Borussia Dortmund form: LDWDL
Team News and Predicted Lineups
Borussia Dortmund will have to make a do without former Manchester City winger Jadon Sancho. The England international will definitely miss the first leg and is also a doubt for next week’s second leg. Also missing for Edin Terzic’s side will be highly rated striker Youssoufa Moukoko, who suffered an injury while on international duty with the Germany U-21s. Long-term absentees Dan-Axel Zagadou, Axel Witsel and Marcel Schmelzer also remain out.
Formation – 4-1-4-1
Can, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro
Hazard, Bellingham, Dahoud , Reus
Manchester City do not have any injury concerns to deal with at the moment. They should have their entire squad available for selection. Fernandinho and Cancelo are a yellow card away from missing next leg. Ilkay Gündogan will return to face is former club Borussia Dortmund for the first time since his move to Manchester City.
4-2-1-3 / 3-3-1-3
Head to Head
These two teams have faced off only twice till now. Both of them date back to the 2012-13 season of the UCL. Out of these, one match ended in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad while the other one was won 1-0 by Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park.
Players to Watch Out For
Kevin De Bruyne
Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 12 goals(3 goals and 9 assists) in his last 12 Champions League matches. His wide range of passing and lethal finishing prowess make him a great threat for any opposition. The Belgian midfielder will be a key asset for the club from Manchester tonight.
The German midfielder is in great scoring form right now. He has scored 10 goals in his 14 appearances in the Premier League this season. Gundogan has found the net three times in his last four appearances for City in all competitions. He also scored for his national team during the recent International break. So no doubt, he would be looking to find the net again tonight when he faces his former side.
Probably the most talked-about player in the world right now, Erling Haaland has found the net in all the matches he has played in the UCL this season. Despite of sitting out during two matchdays, he is the leading scorer of this season’s Champions League with 10 goals.
Hummels will be probably the most experienced player on the pitch tonight. He will have a big role to play in this tie, both as a defender and as a leader along with Captain Marco Reus. He also has the ability to leave the opposition defense in despair with his accurate long passes. Hummels will have a lot of load on his shoulders but he is well experienced in playing in games of this level.
We are going to witness a great clash tonight for sure. There is little to choose between these two sides, considering the quality that both of these teams possess. As both the teams are superb in the attack, it could well mean that the team that is able to defend better will come out on top. Anything can happen. It could go either way. But high drama is definitely on the cards.
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