Men's Team

Foden and De Bruyne among five changes for City

Foden and De Bruyne among five changes for City
City make five changes for tonight’s Round of 16 second leg tie with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden al return.

Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte and Ferran Torres all drop to the bench.

Nathan Ake makes a welcome return on the bench, too.

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Teams

City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (c), Foden, Bernardo, Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Sterling, Jesus, Aguero, Zinchenko, Laporte, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Garcia

Gladbach: Sommer, Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini, Hofmann, Neuhaus, Stindl, Zakaria, Embolo, Thuram

Subs: Lang,Krame, Herrmann, Wolf, Plea, Beyer, Traoré, Wendt, Lazaro, Sippel, Jantschke, Grün

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formation

It looks like a straightforward 4-3-3 - if there is such a thing with City.

John Stones and Ruben Dias continue in central defence with Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo the preferred full-backs.

Rodrigo pins the midfield trio that also includes De Bruyne and Gundogan.

Foden, Bernardo and Mahrez may not be our tallest front line - but a gifted trio like that don't need height or physicality! 

City look to get the job done

City will look for an early goal that would make a steep hill a mountain to climb for the German side.

A 2-0 lead is an ideal cushion for City - but not an insurmountable lead. 

With a quintet of talent rested against Fulham, there will be energy and fresh legs in Budapest.

The rotation has worked like a charm for Pep Guardiola this season and particularly during a run that has seen us win 23 out of 24 games.

It means that Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Everton will likely again see five or six changes as the manager expertly keeps his side’s momentum going no matter who plays.

gladbach: A season of highs and lows so far...

City will know that this tie is only at half-time.

The need to switch the game to Budapest because of Germany’s COVID-19 restrictions takes away the home advantage City had for the second leg.

Of course, the Bundesliga side also had to give up home advantage – but they are likelier to be happier at a return to Budapest.

It’s worth remembering that Gladbach have had some impressive results this season, beating Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Red Bull Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

They also enjoyed successive 2-2 draws against Inter Milan and Real Madrid – against whom they had led 2-0 with 87 minutes played – and thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 in Ukraine and 4-0 at home.

But boss Marco Rose had attracted interest elsewhere and in early February, it was announced he would be taking over at Dortmund at the end of this season.

Whether as a direct result or not, Gladbach haven't won a Bundesliga game since, losing five of their last six, drawing the other and have also been eliminated from the DFB-Pokal cup competition as well.

Add in City's first leg win last month and you have a side struggling to find form with six defeats in a row and no wins in 10.

Stats and facts

  • City are unbeaten in our five games against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League (won four, drawn one), scoring at least two goals in each of the four victories.
  • Borussia's previous ‘trip’ to City ended in their joint-heaviest defeat away from home in the Champions League (4-0).
  • Since losing three consecutive home games in the competition between March and September 2018, City have won 10 of our last 11 Champions League outings at Etihad Stadium (drawn one) - averaging 3.5 goals per game in this run.
  • Borussia Monchengladbach have never previously won ‘away’ to English opponents in the European Cup/Champions League (drawn one, lost three), while they have conceded eight goals in the last two trips - 4-2 in 2015-16 and 4-0 in 2016-17, both against City.
  • Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Raheem Sterling has scored 13 goals in home games in the Champions League (19 appearances) - the most of any player for the club and also the most by an English player in the competition in this period.
  • Excluding own goals, Borussia Monchengladbach's Alassane Plea has been directly involved in five of the team's seven goals away from home in the Champions League this season (three goals and two assists).
  • Aguero has scored 19 goals in 28 Champions League games during Pep Guardiola's time in charge. If he finds the net in this game, he would equal Thomas Muller (20) and trail only Lionel Messi (43) for most goals scored in the competition under Guardiola.
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