Manchester City face Borussia Monchengladbach in Hungary in their Champions League last 16 second leg on Tuesday night, with the hosts already having one foot in the quarter-finals.
The two sides already used Budapest’s Puskas Arena for the ‘home’ leg of the tie, where City ran out 2-0 winners. COVID-19 travel restrictions mean the second leg will also be played in the Hungarian capital, where City’s two ‘away’ goals stand them in good stead and leave it all to do for Gladbach.
The Cityzens have faced Gladbach five times in European competition and remain unbeaten in the process. They have seen their winning streak ended since their first leg victory, but have bounced back and remain in white hot form.
Gladbach, meanwhile, are desperately struggling to find form having not won a game of football since the beginning of February, and are burdened by sitting tenth in the Bundesliga.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the clash.
When is the game? Tuesday 16 March
What time is kick-off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it played? Puskas Arena, Hungary
TV Channel? BT Sport 2/BT Sport Ultimate
Referee: Sergei Karasev
VAR: Vitali Meshkov
Pep Guardiola’s only doubt remains defender Nathan Ake, who is continuing his recovery from a muscular injury.
City otherwise boast a fully fit squad that is, as ever, rich with depth. They made seven changes to the XI at the weekend as Sergio Aguero returned to the lineup and scored in the league for the first time in over a year. Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus were on the scoresheet for City in the first leg, with the latter scoring at the weekend.
Remy Bensebaini and Cristoph Kramer were both doubts for the second leg having picked up injuries, but have both trained with the squad ahead of the second leg and could yet feature.
Gladbach otherwise have a fully fit squad, but one that remains drained of confidence. Alassane Plea has managed just one goal since 3 February, but did score a hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League group stages in November.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Sterling, Jesus, Foden
Gladbach: Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Zakaria, Neuhaus; Lazaro, Stindl, Thuram; Plea
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Manchester City 2-1 West Ham – Premier League (27/2)
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Gladbach 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen – Bundesliga (6/3)
Gladbach 0-1 Borussia Dortmund – DFB Pokal (2/3)
RB Leipzig 3-2 Gladbach – Bundesliga (27/2)
Gladbach 0-2 Manchester City – Champions League (24/2)
Considering City have never lost to Gladbach in Europe, have a fully fit squad and enter the second leg with a cushion of two away goals, it would be pretty difficult for them to fumble the bag here.
Guardiola has been known to make silly mistakes in moments like this and Marco Rose’s side have nothing to lose at this point, but the tie feels like somewhat of a forgone conclusion.
City will book their place in the last eight with ease.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Gladbach