- Bradley Price
Preview: Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Bayern Munich vs Manchester City
Manchester City head to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday in hopes of replicating the first-leg form that gave them an impressive 3-0 lead in the tie. City will have the opportunity to book their place in yet another UEFA Champions League semi-final against the winners of Real Madrid vs Chelsea should they maintain their lead over Thomas Tuchel's side in Munich. Kick-off is scheduled for 20.00 (BST) and is available to watch in the United Kingdom on BT Sport 1.
Phil Foden returned to training today following his surgery and has travelled with the squad to Germany; Guardiola stated in his press conference that Foden is a "special player" who "doesn't need a lot of training sessions to be fit" but emphasised: "he won't play 90 minutes". The rest of the squad are otherwise fully fit.
After extending their current win streak to ten games in midweek with a 3-1 win against Leicester Guardiola's team has been gaining some much-needed momentum going into the final run-in of the season. After struggling to find a consistent winning formula earlier in the season, it appears that Pep has found his ideal tactical set-up, but as demonstrated in the past, that won't stop him from making tactical tweaks where he sees fit.
Guardiola's main decision for this game will be whether he sticks with the same XI that earned the impressive 3-0 lead in the tie or whether he opts for a potentially more cautious setup tailored around maintaining their lead rather than extending it. Guardiola is not against more cautious approaches as was seen when his side took a more pragmatic approach to defend their 1-0 lead against Atletico Madrid in last year's UCL quarter-final.
However, the line-up that faced Leicester featured heavy rotation with Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and Ilkay Gundogan all missing from the starting XI and John Stones, Erling Haaland, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, and Jack Grealish all substituted with significant time in the game remaining, it would be wise to assume they are all likely to feature significantly again against Bayern Munich in the second leg.
Ederson; Akanji, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish
It's been a rocky start to life in Munich for Thomas Tuchel, following the sudden sacking of Julian Nagelsmann, with his Bayern Munich side drawing against 13th-placed Hoffenheim on Saturday, but they remain top of the Bundesliga table.
Following the 3-0 loss to City in the first leg, Tuchel said to the media that his side were "realistic" but emphasised that they would "not give up", stating: "It will not be over until we're in the shower". Both Tuchel and Guardiola have massive respect for each other as managers and have not been shy to praise one another publicly in the past. Their current head-to-head record stands at 3-1-7 in Guardiola's favour, with the Catalan seeming to have the edge over Tuchel since the Champions League final loss versus Chelsea nearly two years ago.
One interesting point to note is City loanee Joao Cancelo is available for Tuchel should he feel the need to call on him. Cancelo didn't exactly have the warmest of welcomes at the Etihad when he came on the field as an 80th-minute substitute following his sudden departure in January. In midweek, against Hoffenheim, Cancelo was briefly trialled in a midfield role. With Tuchel reportedly unhappy with how his midfield is performing, there could be a possibility that the City loanee could be called upon for this position.
City will look to better their record against the German side following their strong 3-0 lead in the first leg at the Etihad. City's last competitive visit to the Allianz Arena was a 1-0 loss back in 2014, but they are not without success in Munich, with the next most recent visit a 3-2 win to City in 2013.
Referee: Clement Turpin
Assistants: Nicolas Danos & Benjamin Pages
Fourth Official: Jeremie Pignard
VAR: Jerome Brisard
Assistant VAR: Willy Delajod
Written by: @BPFoden_
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