Man City’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple rumbles on when they welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad Stadium for this Champions League quarterfinal first leg.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of kickoff at 21:00 CAT.
The winning habit
Man City has won a staggering 26 of their last 27 competitive games, and 21 of those wins were by two goals or more, the only blip in that sequence coming against Man United in the Premier League at the start of March
City’s dominant display in a 2-0 win at the King Power Stadium over Leicester stretched their lead at the summit of the table to 17 points at the time. It’s now simply a question of when, rather than if, for the champions-elect.
Dortmund out of the top four in Germany
The visitors have conceded exactly twice in three of their last four matches, keeping just a solitary clean sheet in their last five, a sequence that has seen them fall out of the Bundesliga title race and now they’re fretting to even make the Champions League places, some seven points adrift of fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.
City desperate for continental success
Pep Guardiola is desperate to end City’s elusive wait for the Champions League title but first, he must steer them beyond the quarterfinals, something they have not managed in any of the last three seasons as their European journeys ended at the final eight stages in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
New-found defensive solidity
Guardiola’s side has now kept seven Champions League clean sheets in succession, last conceding 706 minutes ago– only Arsenal (995 minutes) has bettered that record in UCL history.
Haaland up against one of his admirers
You get the feeling, though, that City’s sequence of defensive austerity will come under severe scrutiny against tournament top-scorer Erling Haaland.
The 20-year-old Norwegian sensation has netted in his last six continental appearances for Dortmund and could follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani and Ruud van Nistelrooy if he scores for the seventh game running at the Etihad.
🌃 Man City
João Cancelo and Fernandinho are both a booking away from missing the second leg of this quarterfinal although the latter is expected to start on the bench anyway. Pep Guardiola has a clean bill of health and a wealth of options in each position.
Likely XI (4-3-3):
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Silva, Sterling, Foden
Former Man City starlet Jadon Sancho will play no part against his former employers due to a thigh problem, although there is optimism over his availability for the second leg on April 14. Dan-Axel Zagadou and Axel Witsel are both ruled out. Jude Bellingham will be pushing for a start back on English soil while16-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko will be assessed.
Likely XI (4-1-4-1):
Hitz; Can, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Delaney; Hazard, Bellingham, Dahoud, Reus; Haaland
- Man City has scored at least twice in each of their last three UCL outings.
- Five of Dortmund’s last six UCL matches have featured over 2.5 goals.
- Kevin De Bruyne has assisted four goals and scored one in three UCL appearances this term.
- Man City’s ex-Dortmund man Ilkay Gundogan has netted in five of his last six games for club and country.
- Erling Haaland is the competition’s leading goalscorer (ten goals) and has netted five times across Dortmund’s last four UCL away matches.
Best bet: City win & over 2.5 goals