Manchester City vs Bayern Munich. UEFA Champions League Group E.
Tuesday 25 November 2014 19:13, UK
Manchester City entertain Group E leaders Bayern Munich on Tuesday knowing that anything less than a victory could end their dismal Champions League campaign in the group stage for the third time in four years.
Manuel Pellegrini's men, who find themselves rooted to the foot of Group E on two points, must defeat the 2013 winners, and hope there is not a winner in the evening's other game, if they are to have any chance of resurrecting their campaign to qualify for the last 16.
City's form on the continent has been inconsistent to say the least, with the Premier League champions, most notably, surrendering a two-goal lead at CSKA Moscow on Matchday 3, before slipping to defeat in the corresponding fixture at the Etihad a fortnight later.
Bayern travel to Manchester on the back of becoming the first team in the competition's history to win their group after just four games. The Bavarians secured their passage to the knock-out phase with a clinical 2-0 win over Roma two weeks ago – following up their 7-1 mauling of the Italians in the previous fixture.
The Germans have gone 18 games unbeaten in all competitions and head into the contest in imperious form having won their last five games, during which time they have scored 15 and conceded only twice.
Bayern manager Pep Guardiola is yet to taste defeat against Pellegrini and in eight meetings with the Chilean, the former Barcelona boss has won seven and drawn once.
Jerome Boateng's 90th-minute strike denied City what would have been a well-earned point at the Allianz Arena on Matchday 1, and a repeat result on Tuesday would, somewhat prematurely, eliminate City.
Sergio Aguero and Steven Jovetic have been passed fit to play on Tuesday night, despite both sitting out of a training session on Monday. David Silva, however, has been unable to shake off a knock in time for the game and misses the must-win clash along with Edin Dzeko and Alexandar Kolarov.
Pellegrini said: "Both of them, Aguero and Jovetic, are in the squad list for tomorrow. They have no problems for tomorrow night.
"They didn't work normally because they have a small thing after the last game but nothing important."
City will also be without Yaya Toure, who serves the first of a three-match ban for petulantly lashing out at Alexei Eremenko during the CSKA defeat, and Fernandinho who also saw red after two bookings agains the Russians.
For Bayern, Philipp Lahm misses the game having been ruled out for three months after breaking his ankle in training, Alaba (knee), Badstuber (thigh), Martinez (knee), Pizarro (thigh), Reina (calf) and Thiago Alcantara (knee) all miss the trip to the Etihad. Midfield lynchpin Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit again however having made his return from injury, and his first appearance of the season, against Hoffenheim at the weekend.
Only two teams with two points or fewer after four Matchdays have ever qualified from a Champions League group. (Porto 04-05, two points, and Lokomotiv Moscow 02-03, one point).
Bayern have already won Group E with two games to spare. Only five teams have ever finished a Group with a maximum 18 points (Milan 92-93, PSG 94-95, Barcelona 02-03, Spartak Moscow 95-96 & Real Madrid 11-12).
City can be eliminated after this game: If CSKA v Roma doesn’t end level and City fail to win, thereby dashing their chances of progression.
Man City are winless in their last six games in Europe (D2 L4): their last win coming against Bayern Munich in December 2013. They have never been winless for more than six consecutive games in European competitions.
Our partners at Sky Bet believe City have their work cut out against the imperious Germans. Bayern at slight favourites at 1/1, City are priced at 13/5 and the draw is available at 14/5. Visit www.skybet.com for all the latest deals and offers on the game.