MANCHESTER CITY know it would take another dramatic collapse to be dumped out of the Champions League TONIGHT.
The Citizens were famously on the verge of back-to-back finals last year.
However, they somehow conceded in the 90th, 91st and 95th minutes to crash out at the hands of eventual winners Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
This year, they have the 2020 champions Bayern Munich in the tightest of headlocks – and surely will not let another European giant out of their grasp.
City were utterly phenomenal in their emphatic 3-0 win at the Etihad last Tuesday.
Rodri’s 27th-minute screamer broke the deadlock in the first leg of this mouth-watering quarter-final and two quick-fire second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland made sure that Pep’s men put one foot in the semis.
Manchester City have only lost one of their last 20 matches against German teams in the Champions League, winning 16, and are unbeaten in their nine games against German sides in the knockout stages of the competition.
To make matters worse for Bayern, ex-Manchester City star Leroy Sane and Sadio Mane got into a physical altercation in the dressing room – the German appeared to have his lip busted – which may well have added further disruption to the Bundesliga giants.
But as we have seen so many times in this famous competition before, it is not over until it is over.
Bayern Munich will be looking to become just the fifth team to progress from a two-legged Champions League knockout tie after losing by three or more goals in the first leg.
They would join Deportivo de La Coruña who beat AC Milan in 2003-04, Neymar’s Barcelona’s against PSG in 2016-17, Roma’s comeback vs Barcelona in 2017-18 and of course Liverpool who won 4-0 in the second leg against Barcelona at Anfield in 2018-19.
Could the Bayern stars put on a sensational comeback for the age in front of their home fans at the Allianz?
What is their form like?
For City, simply scintillating.
They have won their last ten matches in all competitions with an aggregate score of 37-4 – a run that includes thumping RB Leipzig 7-0, Burnley 6-0 and Liverpool 4-1.
They were 3-0 up against Leicester after 25 minutes on Saturday so it was no surprise to see Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Jack Grealish and John Stones all brought off.
As for Bayern, it is a lot more sketchy.
Since beating Borussia Dortmund 4-2 in Thomas Tuchel’s first game to go top of the Bundesliga, they have won once.
That was a 1-0 win at Freiburg on April 8, four days after getting knocked out of the DFB-Pokal by the same opponents.
The defeat at the Etihad was followed up by a 1-1 draw with strugglers Hoffenheim on Saturday.
What is the team news and any injuries to worry about?
Bayern’s boss Thomas Tuchel could welcome back Mane after he was slapped with a one-match in-house ban for punching team-mate Sane.
Manuel Neuer (broken leg) and Lucas Hernandez (knee) are ruled out but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting could return from his own knee problem.
Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola almost has a full bill of fit players.
Only Phil Foden is a doubt following appendix surgery but even he trained on Tuesday and could be involved.
Who will be the star men?
Sane and Choupo-Moting both have four goals in the Champions League this season, one more than Mane.
The ex-City winger will need to find his best form at the Allianz if Bayern want any chance of going through – while Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano somehow try and keep Haaland quiet.
Of course, City’s talisman is 47-goal Norwegian hero. He added another two to his tally against the Foxes and put his feet up for the second half.
Few would bet against him adding another – but Stones is also proving a key cog in the side with his new midfield role bearing plenty of fruit behind the likes of De Buryne and Grealish.
What have the managers said?
Pep Guardiola: “If you think about just the result, what you have to do, or what we’ve done in the past, it would be a big mistake for us.
“We have to do our game. That is how we’ve talked the last few days.
“We are focused a lot on what we want to do, trying not just to control the game but punish them, trying to score, understand the game and not just the fact we are here in Munich against one of the most prestigious, historic teams in this competition.
“I don’t understand a situation just to come here and defend something. We come here to play a football game, 11 men against 11. We try to do better than the opponent in this specific game.”
Thomas Tuchel: “We need a wonder, a miracle.
“I don’t know if talking about a 4-0 or 5-1 is appropriate – you need to be realistic – but we believe in ourselves.
“It is the second leg. If we manage to play a good first half we can make it happen in the second. Everything is possible.
“It’s a huge mountain to climb and that’s why we need to believe in ourselves but we don’t want to be dreamers. Dreaming for me is always close to sleeping and you cannot sleep for one second.
“We need to believe and believing means we have it in our own hands to make things happen. We need to make it happen by team spirit and performance and energy.
“We are not alone, we can fight as a team and we have our spectators who will be ready to fight with us.”
Bayern 1-2 Man City (Man City win 5-1 on aggregate)
When is Bayern vs Man City?
- Bayern Munich’s tasty Champions League second leg against Manchester City will take place TODAY, April 19.
- It is scheduled to get underway at 8pm BST – 9pm local time.
- Allianz Arena is the allocated venue for this match and it can host approximately 75,024 spectators.
- Manchester City raced to a 3-0 lead in the reverse fixture.
What TV channel is it on and can it be live streamed?
- Bayern Munich vs Manchester City will be broadcast LIVE on BT Sport 1 in the UK.
- Coverage is set to commence from 7pm BST – a whole hour before kick-off.
- Subscription members of BT Sport can stream the entire action live via the BT Sport website or BT Sport app.
- Alternatively, SunSport will have minute-by-minute coverage of the game including build-up and post-match reaction.
What are the odds?
- Bayern to win 33/20
- Draw 13/5
- Man City to win 7/5
- Bayern 12/1
- Man City 1/50
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes are correct at time of publication