As it stands, Manchester City are the only English team to make it through to the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League. Manuel Pellegrini’s Sky Blues have an academic fixture against Andre Schubert’s plucky Borussia Monchengladbach, and with the German team having not quite sealed their Europa League spot, the game could be of more interest and importance to the visitors.
Man City v Gladbach: Match Preview
Date and time: Tuesday 8th December, 19:45 BST
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Gladbach have a Bayern Munich ordeal in the Bundesliga this weekend before they fly out to Manchester, and could be left nursing both physical as well as psychological wounds leading up to the European clash. Their last loss in all competitions came in the return clash with City in Germany at the start of October.
Meanwhile, Man City will have one eye on finishing the group stages as group toppers. The Citizens conceded top spot in the group following their 1-0 loss to Juventus on match day 5, and given their dismal record in the past two years when they qualified as group runners-up, Pellegrini will look to nick top spot off Juve, and according to the latest Champions League predictions on http://bonuscodebets.co.uk/resources/champions-league-prediction/ they have a great chance considering Juventus are away to Sevilla in their final game.
Gladbach could even qualify for the Europa League knockout stages should Sevilla fail to win against Juventus at home, but if the Foals lose against Man City and Sevilla win their game against Juve, Gladbach will have no European football to look forward to in 2016.
For Manchester City, only a win will keep them in contention for top spot in the group, but their chances depend on Juve’s result in Seville. A draw for the Bianconeri will be enough for them to condemn City to second spot, which will mean a potential round of 16 tie against the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.
Prediction: Man City 3-1 Gladbach
Analysis: Man City’s European Prospects This Season
Barring an unlikely turn of events on match day 6, Man City will likely finish behind Juventus which will mean another campaign where the Sky Blues have to negotiate superior opponents in the knockout stages. In the last two seasons, City finished behind Bayern in the group stages and came unstuck over two legs against Barcelona in the subsequent round.
The worst case scenario for City is finishing second in their group and then facing the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the round of 16. However, there also are chances of City entertaining teams like Zenit, Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid and Benfica who look more beatable on paper.
And should they finish first, which clearly isn’t out of the equation, City’s chances of making it through the first knockout round look more favourable. Although teams like Paris Saint Germain and Porto might prove to be tricky ground, the fact they operate a rung or two below Man City will make the Citizens the favourites to progress.