Bayern Munich faces Man City in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday. Die Roten are hoping for a miracle to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit after a couple of poor defensive errors a week ago. Pep Guardiola is chasing a spot in the semi-finals vs Real Madrid and their first European crown since 2012.
Bayern have not had a particular improvement at all since replacing Julian Nagelsmann with Thomas Tuchel. The departed coach have overseen a poor run of five wins in 10 Bundesliga matches, but he did take charge of the round of 16 where Bayern beat PSG 1-0 away and 2-0 at home with impressive ease. After a 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen, Nagelsmann lost his job.
Tuchel began with a largely impressive 4-2 home win against Dortmund but a 2-1 home loss to Freiburg in the DFB Pokal followed. They went to the same opponents four days later in the Bundesliga and took a key 1-0 win. The first leg vs City saw a good display for an hour and the coach said he “fell in love” with his team despite the defensive howlers. Over the weekend, they could only draw 1-1 at home with Hoffenheim in a poor league result.
Bayern Team News
Sadio Mane was dropped from the matchday squad over the weekend for his attack on teammate Leroy Sane after the first leg. He should return to the bench for this one, though. Tuchel remains without two long-term injury victims in goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and defender Lucas Hernandez.
Striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is back in training and gives the coach a boost after the pair enjoyed a good working relationship at Mainz. He is not expected to be fit enough to start, though. Alphonso Davies could be recalled with City loanee Joao Cancelo on the bench. It’s a straight choice between Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller for the number ten spot.
Die Roten tends to score plenty of goals at home and have a superb Champions League record. They will hope to score first and be within a goal of leveling the tie with 20 minutes to go.
Musiala, Mane, and Choupo-Moting give good firepower to try to score a late goal from the bench. Tuchel will play to win this match in a balanced way before any risk-taking completely open up. They know that conceding a goal would practically end the tie.
Man City Form
City are hitting top form at just the right time. They haven’t lost in 14 matches with 12 wins in that time and there is a very real chance that could win a league and Champions League double. With ten wins on the bounce and six consecutive victories in the league, Guardiola has them in top physical shape. After Erling Haaland scored five against RB Leipzig in the last round, they netted a hattrick in a 6-0 FA Cup win over Burnley.
City have since cruised past Liverpool 4-1 (without Haaland) and then won 4-1 at Southampton (with Haaland scoring twice). The first leg 3-0 win vs Bayern Munich saw Haaland get a goal and an assist as the continues his remarkable season. Over the weekend, City rotated their side a little but still breezed 3-1 past Leicester after leading 3-0 within 25 minutes.
Man City Team News
Phil Foden has returned to training for one day ahead of this match. Pep Guardiola has decided to name him on the bench anyway as an emergency measure in this tie. There was some rotation for the weekend win against Leicester as Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte both started. They are set to drop down to the bench with Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji starting.
Further forward, Ilkay Gundogan will start as one of the two number tens alongside Kevin De Bruyne. Bernardo Silva is set to play down the right for his defensive intensity in preference to Riyad Mahrez. Guardiola looks almost certain to name the same XI from the first leg.
Man City Motivation
City knows that a narrow defeat or a draw would see them into the semi-finals against Real Madrid. Guardiola won’t be satisfied with any sort of defeat and his side will play to win in Germany.
Having said that, he will keep a very rigid defensive structure with five players behind the ball to guard against counter attacks.
Bayern have kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 7 matches
Bayern have scored 21 goals in 9 UCL matches this season (from 17.3 xG)
Bayern have scored in their last 22 home matches in the Champions League
Man City have won 10 matches in a row in all competitions
Man City’s Haaland has scored 13 goals in his last 5 matches
City have drawn 3 of their 4 away UCL matches this season (1 win)
Man City are 9 matches unbeaten vs German sides in CL KO matches (won 8, drew 1)
This match will surely have some goals. Bayern almost always scores at home and Haaland will relish his chances against a Die Roten side who’ve leaked in six of their last seven. Both teams scoring looks like a safe bet and this match should have over 2.5 goals.