Ahead of our UEFA Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich, we catch up with a German football expert.

Mark Lovell is a freelance journalist who has been based in Germany for more than 20 years, covering all of the Bundesliga’s biggest sides.

Here he gives us an update from Bavaria on the German champions and how they’re looking ahead of this two-legged tie, starting in Manchester tomorrow.


From the outside, it may seem like it was a harsh decision to change Julian Nagelsmann for Thomas Tuchel. However, I think the club were thinking about this tie when they made the move.

Tuchel got one over Guardiola in the 2021 Champions League final when he was with Chelsea and will be working on doing the same again.

Guardiola likes to consider what other managers will do, Tuchel has plenty of experience managing big clubs but time will tell just how different his style is to how Nagelsmann was managing Bayern.

Tuchel was considered for the Bayern job previously but now seems like the right time for him and the club to chase their holy grail, which is success in Europe.

Bayern lost at the quarter-final stage in each of the last two seasons and last year’s defeat to Villarreal was not received well by the club and the fans.

Current form

Bayern struggled in the first few weeks after the World Cup break but have regained their league form in recent weeks and are now back top of the Bundesliga.

Their recent win over Borussia Dortmund was dominant even despite the late goals against them. Even without Tuchel, they would likely have won that match because they are so used to dominating at home in domestic football.

It’s been a tough week facing Freiburg, who are chasing a Champions League place, away and then home though so there may be some tiredness.

The first of those saw the end of treble hopes for this season with Freiburg knocking Bayern out of the DFB-Pokal Cup.

However, I fully expect Bayern to go on and win the title now so they will be focused on making it count in the Champions League.

Style of play

Bayern are used to having most of the ball but no team is better at keeping it than City, so it will be interesting to see how they are prepared for that.

Just like any team they have weaknesses off the ball and a team like City will be able to find holes in their system. Tuchel will have come in and done as much as he could to tidy those up ahead of this game, especially with City’s style of play in mind.

Against PSG they managed to isolate Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi very effectively, especially at the Allianz, but with the change of manager could come a different style in terms of stopping the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.

Standout players

Manuel Neuer has long been the goalkeeper at Bayern but he’s out for the rest of the season so Yann Sommer was brought in.

Sommer was lucky with one incident in the PSG game when he had the ball taken off in front of his own goal but otherwise he has been very dependable, as he has throughout his career with Gladbach.

City loanee Joao Cancelo was in the team when he first moved but only came on for the last 10 minutes against Dortmund, and that has been the pattern for recent matches.

Pavard has been preferred at right-back and Davies at left-back, but having him on the bench certainly increases Bayern’s attacking options in the squad.

City fans will be interested to see former player Leroy Sane too. He has not been in the best of form this season and received some criticism earlier on but he is very likely to play and can be a gamechanger on his day.

Bayern’s UCL record

Bayern have reached the quarter-final of the competition for the 23rd time, a record across Europe. That is two more than Real Madrid, who are next best.

They have not failed to reach the semi-finals for three successive seasons since 2009 but after losing at this stage in the last two seasons, that record is on the line.

Predicted XI

Yann Sommer, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs De Ligt, Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting


It’s a 50-50 game, it really could go either way. I believe City will need an advantage from the first leg because Bayern are always very strong at the Allianz Arena in German and European football.

Whoever comes through this tie will have to expect another tricky match with Real Madrid or Chelsea but given these are two of the best sides left in the tournament, they will have to fancy their chances to go all the way.

For more of Mark’s insights, you can follow him on Twitter here.

City v Bayern Munich

City welcome Bayern Munich to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday for a 20:00 (UK) kick-off and you can follow the game across mancity.com and our official app.

We will start live updates at 18:00 on our Matchday Centre and that will run throughout the evening.

Our Matchday Live programme will begin shortly before team news arrives at 18:45. Natalie Pike will be in the studio with Nedum Onuoha, Michael Brown and Steph Houghton to give you a City-centric view on events.

During the game, Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison will talk you through proceedings with our radio commentary offering.

Afterwards, we will bring you all the reaction before short highlights and extended highlights are available from midnight on Thursday.