HomeNewsAn End to Pep's UCL Voodoo?

An End to Pep’s UCL Voodoo?

BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City travel to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday evening to take on the Germans for a spot in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Pep Guardiola’s side grabbed a 2-1 win in the first leg thanks to a late winner from Phil Foden after Marco Reus’ strike cancelled out Kevin de Bruyne’s opener.

 

 

Dortmund’s form is patchy, at best, although they managed to beat Stuttgart 3-2 in a thrilling encounter on Saturday. The win kept them in fifth place, seven points adrift of the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Guardiola’s side suffered just their fourth loss of the season on Saturday. 10-man Leeds triumphed over a lethargic City thanks to a brace from Stuart Dallas. The result meant rivals Manchester United have a chance to cut the gap down to eight points if they win both their games in hand.

 

TEAM NEWS

Dortmund are expected to be without star winger Jadon Sancho again who missed the first leg due to a muscle injury. Emerging 16-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko is ruled out for the season after picking up a ligament injury during the international break.

Borussia Dortmund Probable Lineup: Hitz; Morey, Akanji, Hummels, Gurreiro; Dahoud, Can, Bellingham; Reus, Haaland, Knauff

 

 

Manchester City have no major injury concerns with only Sergio Aguero and Aymeric Laported doubtful for the clash. Aguero picked up a knock in last weekend’s win against Leicester while Laporte has a hip problem. The pair will be assessed ahead of the tie to decide their participation.

Manchester City Probable Lineup: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, de Bruyne; Foden, Jesus, Mahrez

 

GAME CHANGERS

Erling Haaland is without a goal in six matches for club and country but he remains an ever-present threat. He provided the assists for both, Knauff’s winner against Stuttgart and Reus’ equaliser in the first leg. He also recorded the fastest speed in the Bundesliga this season on Saturday at 36.04 kmph.

17-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham was unlucky to have a goal disallowed in the first leg. Bellingham’s pressing was exceptional, knowing exactly when to put pressure and when to drop off and his efforts will be key to Dortmund’s success again.

 

 

David Silva’s departure in the summer has given Man City academy product Phil Foden the game time many have been demanding for years now. He has shone through with his quick feet, ice cool finishing and exceptional link-up around the box. Foden will be the man to watch out for again at Signal Iduna Park.

Kevin de Bruyne missed a considerable portion of this season due to injury but City never felt his absence thanks to the form of Ilkay Gundogan. The German has added goalscoring to his tenacious midfield play and his late runs into the box are a potent weapon for his side.

 

 

PREDICTIONS

Dortmund need to score to progress and thus, cannot afford to sit-back. Guardiola’s teams, even this season’s more pragmatic City, do not have a hand-break option. FootTheBall predicts an end-to-end encounter which will end Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Manchester City, with the latter going through on away goals.

 

Ritwik Khanna
Economics student supporting FC Goa and Manchester United, in true masochistic way. Can be found reading Jonathan Wilson and Sid Lowe or planning a quirky trip in his free time.

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