Manchester City welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad Stadium for the first-leg of the Champions League Quarter-Final


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Manchester City look to put their previous Champions League Quarter-Final experiences behind them as they welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s side are on the verge of a historic quadruple, but they’ve been in this position all too many times in the recent past and have fallen at this exact hurdle every time. The soon to be Premier League champions are coming into this fixture after a convincing 2-0 away win against Leicester, which saw a number of their key players rested.

Dortmund will be hoping to salvage what has been a disappointing season for them as they currently lie seven points outside of the Champions League places with only seven games remaining in the Bundesliga. They suffered a huge blow at the weekend, losing 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt, who are directly above them in the league.

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With a lot of talk flying around about Dortmund’s key players and where they will be at the end of the summer, a strong Champions League campaign is surely now their best bet at maintaining such players, like Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho.

Both of those players have been heavily linked to both Manchester clubs, with the former being heavily linked to the Citizens.

Dortmund come into this game having only won one game in five, which was against 14th placed Hertha Berlin. In hindsight, maybe announcing midway through the season that Borussia Monchengladbach’s manager, Marco Rose would be the manager next season, wasn’t the best of ideas, for either club as that so happens.

Team news

Man City boast a full-strength side after none of their players returned from the international break injured. With a well-rested team at the weekend, you can imagine that City will field their strongest XI on Tuesday night.

Unlike their hosts, Dortmund have a lengthy injury list. They have five players out in total: Jadon Sancho, Youssoufa Moukoko, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Axel Witsel and Marcel Schmelzer.

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All of these players are set to miss both the first and second leg of the tie. Facing this City side at the moment is one thing, but having to deal with injuries on top of it, just makes it even harder.

Haaland must stay calm throughout the first leg and make sure not to receive a yellow card otherwise he will be suspended for the return leg in Germany next week. Joao Cancelo and Fernandinho are also only one yellow card away from missing the second leg.

Manchester City

The Citizens have tried and failed to conquer the Champions League in the past and the pressure is mounting up on Guardiola and his players. The furthest the Sky Blues have got in the European competition is the semi-finals in the 2015/16 season, in which they lost 1-0 to Real Madrid.

Since then, Guardiola arrived and they have been nothing but disappointing, with a round of 16 exit and three consecutive quarter-final exits, the Spaniard will be hoping to not make it four in a row.

City fans will feel like this is their best chance to win the quadruple if it is ever going to happen. Now that the league is basically wrapped up and there is no chance of them reaching 100 points, they can take their foot off the gas a bit and rest players in the league, which they haven’t been able to do in recent years, 2017/18 and 2018/19 are just a few examples.

There is hope around the fanbase that the City players will have more motivation than ever to win the Champions League this season as it is Sergio Aguero’s last opportunity to win it with the club.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola spoke about his team’s motivation and what they plan on doing from now until the end of the season:

“Why should we win the other competitions just because we are leading the Premier League? Bayern Munich are leading the Bundesliga, Atletico [Madrid] are leading the Spanish league. It is different. The only concern tomorrow is to try and win the game.

“Win this game and after comes Leeds and after we go to Dortmund to win that game. After that, if we play good and deserve it we go through. If not, we will try next season.”

Inevitably Guardiola was also asked about his thoughts on Haaland and whether City will pay the fee Dortmund are reportedly asking for:

“So far the club has decided not to spend close to £100m for a player. Maybe in the future it will happen when the club decides to improve the team for the next five to ten years.

“A blind guy can realise he is a good striker.”

With Aguero’s departure at the end of the season being announced, the links of Haaland moving to the blue side of Manchester have only increased.

Borussia Dortmund

As you would expect, Dortmund have made it explicitly clear that they do not want to sell their star striker and intend to keep him for at least one more season, but if Dortmund exit the Champions League and they don’t regain their place in the tournament for next season, there might be very little they can do about it.

The German side will have their work cut out for them if they want to progress in this tournament as the City players will be out to prove a point that they can be a real force in Europe.

If Dortmund were to progress they would face either of the two finalists from last season, one of which being their Bundesliga rivals, Bayern Munich.

With City’s former academy player, Sancho, likely to be out for both ties, Dortmund’s creativity will have to come from somewhere else as they are going to be missing their second-highest goal contributor (two goals and three assists) in the tournament this season, second only to Haaland (10 goals and one assist).

Dortmund do still have the likes of Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard who are known for their attacking presence who they can rely on, but they will need to be at their best to overcome this hungry City side.


This will be only the third meeting between the two sides, having met twice before in the Champions League group stages in 2012.

Dortmund currently have the bragging rights, having won once and drawn the other time they faced each other. City will have a bit of an extra incentive knowing that if they leave the Etihad victorious on Tuesday night, it will be their first victory against the German side in their history.

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