Manchester City head to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday evening and Roberto Mancini looks set to leave a number of first-team players at home as he has one eye on the Manchester derby in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
City play to a Dortmund side that have a 100% record on home soil in the Champions League and know that they need to win and hope that Ajax lose at Real Madrid to secure a place in the Europa League this campaign.
Do they really want to be involved in the Europa League? Probably not. Mancini’s men have failed in Europe this term and he will now want to put all his focus into retaining the Premier League title instead of long trips across the continent on a Thursday evening.
The Citizens must come here and compete though, especially against a side of Dortmund’s quality and Mancini should be careful when choosing his eleven players to start this one. The German champions are capable of tearing a team apart when they are not at full strength and that is the last thing that City need right now.
They will want to go into that massive game against Manchester United full of confidence and momentum and there is one way to do that – claim all three points here. There is no doubt that on their day though, Man City are a match for anyone in Europe.
As for Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp has a well organised, hardworking and talented squad right now, but like their opponents, they are stuttering in the league and have drawn too many matches.
When it comes to the Champions League though, you will do well to find a more impressive side than Borussia Dortmund right now and they head into this one with the pressure off, knowing that a place in the final 16 is guaranteed.
That could be an even more worrying sign for Manchester City as Dortmund are sure to come out and attack, giving their incredible home supporters’ something to cheer about. The atmosphere inside the stadium will be electric and the goal can look very small for opponents when they attack the stand that is known for ‘The Yellow Wall’.
Many would have been expecting this battle to be one that had a big say of qualification to the knockout stages, but that is not the case. However, it is still an encounter between the champions of two of the best leagues in the world – so is all but guaranteed to entertain.