Manchester City visits Bayern Munich in European Champions League showdown Sept. 17
By Ian Palmer
Reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City will be taking on German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich this Wednesday, September 17. The match is a 2014/15 European Champions League Group E showdown and will be taking place at the Allianz Arena in Munich. These two sides also met each other in the group stage of last year’s tournament with both of them advancing to the second round. In fact, they’ve been grouped together three out of the past four years.
The soccer lines at bet365 show Bayern Munich as the favorites to win the game at 4/7 with Man City at 17/4 and a draw at 7/2
Bayern Munich won the Champions League in the 2012/13 season by beating fellow Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. However, they failed to retain their title last season as they were beaten quite handily 5-0 o aggregate by Spain’s Real Madrid in the semifinals. Manager Pep Guardiola is definitely under pressure to at least reach the final again next May. Bayern and Man City are 2-2 against each other in their past four meetings with each team recording an away win in last year’s tournament.
However, the squads have changed somewhat since last season due to player changes in the recent summer transfer window. Bayern has lost German international Toni Kroos to Real Madrid and striker Mario Mandzukic left to join Atletico Madrid. In addition, German international defender Holger Badstuber has been sidelined with a thigh injury. Bayern did manage to sign some decent replacements though as they acquired central midfielder Xabi Alonso, defender Mehdi Benatia and striker. Bayern also have several other injuries to deal with as Javi Martinez is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and Rafinha is on the shelf with torn ankle ligaments.
Man City also made some moves over the summer as English internationals Gareth Barry, Joleon Lescott, Jack Rodwell, and Micah Richards have all moved on while Alvaro Negredo was loaned to Spanish side Valencia. Manager Manuel Pellegrini has seen his side struggle in the Premier League over the past couple of weeks and City fans are eager to see their club do well in Europe. They made it to the round of 16 last year for the first time ever, but didn’t do much once they got there as Barcelona dumped them out 4-1 on aggregate.
Pellegrini’s confident his team can do better this season and said his team should be confident heading into this match since they beat Munich at the Allianz Arena last year. Bayern took a 2-0 lead in their showdown in Germany last season, but City came storming back to take all three points with a 3-2 win. They managed to tie Bayern in the group sage with 15 points each, but Munich took first place due to a superior goal difference.
Man City were beaten 1-0 at home by Stoke City a couple of weeks ago and were held to a 2-2 draw at Arsenal last weekend. They have seven points out of 12 after four games, with Stevan Jovetic and Sergio Aguero leading the attack with two and three goals respectively. Both Bayern and Man City have a wealth of scoring talent in their squads, but Munich appears to be better defensively. This should be a close game with the winner getting a good jumpstart to the group stage.