After a dramatic late victory over Fulham, attention returns to the Champions League and following the defeat in the opening matchday blockbuster against Real Madrid, this encounter at the Etihad Stadium with Borussia Dortmund is already being deemed as “must-win”. That may be debatable, as a draw would certainly not signal the complete end of the Blues’ chances, but a win is most definitely the aim and with confidence boosted thanks to Edin Dzeko’s superbly taken winner at Craven Cottage, three points is very much achievable.
This will be the first time the two sides have faced each other, but it is the Germans who have the upper hand in the group at the moment, having defeated Ajax 1-0 in their opening fixture. Despite being the fourth seeds in the group, Borussia Dortmund have won the Bundesliga the past two seasons and although they lost arguably their best player, Shinji Kagawa to Manchester United over the summer, they will arrive in Manchester full of confidence that they can see off the Blues.
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With regards to City’s team selection, Roberto Mancini must be tempted to name an unchanged side after the promising performance away to Fulham, but we all know his penchant for rotation and so I’d expect to see at least one change. Aleks Kolarov is often preferred in Europe so he is a candidate to come in for Gael Clichy, whilst Samir Nasri is now fully fit again and is pushing for a starting berth.
Further forward, after impressing numerous times as a substitute, Edin Dzeko will hope to have done enough to be given an opportunity from the start, although it’s hard to see Mancini leaving out either Carlos Tévez and Sergio Aguero. And we all know the manager’s propensity to deploy Mario Balotelli in important matches.
Here is the side Mancini could select:
The visitors have a number of quality individuals and have shown throughout the past couple of seasons just how much of a threat they can be. The likes of Mario Gotze and Marco Reus are hugely talented youngsters and have impressed all with their recent performances for the national side, whilst Polish striker Robert Lewandowski attracted praise at the European Championships.
Referee: Pavel Kralovec - An engineer by day, the Czech official was in charge for City’s last-gasp 2-1 home win over Villarreal in the Champions League last year.
Prediction: MAN CITY 2 – 1 Borussia Dortmund – It’s bound to be a tight and tense affair, but with the momentum gained from the weekend win, I back the Blues to grab the three points. Goals to be scored by Carlos Tévez, Sergio Aguero and Robert Lewandowski.