Bayern Munich vs Manchester City
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom
Match date: Tuesday, 25 November 2014 - 19:45 GMT
Man City team have disappointed once again in the UCL, as it appears they are headed for an early exit from the competition involving Europe’s elite clubs. Through 4 group stage matches, they have accumulated a paltry 2 points to sit in last place of Group E, and a visit from the table-toppers and soaring Bavarians isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. They did look strong against the Germans in their first fixture in Munich, perhaps unluckily losing 1:0 to a very late Jerome Boateng goal. After drawing with Roma and CSKA, the hosts fell in catastrophic fashion to the Moscow-based club 1:2, seeing their Champions League hopes now hanging by a thread headed into Tuesday’s clash. However, the Citizens did look better last time out in a 2:1 dispatching of feisty Swansea, and perhaps even more importantly than the 3 points was the return to form of midfield star Yaya Toure, who netted the go-ahead goal and had an overall strong match. The Ivorian has struggled with his form since the death of his brother Ibrahim back in June, playing with a heavy heart through the World Cup and the early season. But if last match was any indication of things to come, the powerful midfielder is well on his way to a return to his best form, and that is only good news for the struggling hosts. However, they will unfortunately be forced to play without their talismanic star here, as he is forced out after picking up a red-card suspension in their defeat to CSKA Moscow, and the must-win they need is unlikely to come as a result.
Bayern Munich can seemingly do no wrong at the moment. Despite facing an extensive injury list throughout the early going of the season, which was just compounded by the multiple-month loss of Phillip Lahm, the Bavarians have won their last 5 competitive matches and 11 of their last 12 in all competitions. They have lost just once this season in a German Super Cup clash with Dortmund, but the cup admittedly lacks any real noteworthy accomplishment, and the visitors deployed a team comprising of many of their second-choice and third-choice backups. Now, they will head to Manchester to take on the struggling English champions, who they defeated 1:0 back in Germany in their first match-up. Jerome Boateng was the unexpected hero on that day, guiding his team to victory with a 90th-minute match winner. Things should be tight again here as the hosts look to salvage some pride after a disappointing showing so far, and considering the numerous injuries the visitors have to deal with and that they have already won the group, things could be split evenly by the time all is said and done in Manchester. It may be important to note that Muller shook off an injury scare over the most recent international break and will be available for selection here.
Manchester City: Hart – Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy – Fernando, Lampard, Milner, Nasri – Jovetic, Aguero.
Bayern Munich: Neuer – Rafinha, Benatia, Dante, J. Bernat – Schweinsteiger, Rode – Shaqiri, M. Gotze, Ribery – Lewandowski.