Everything You Need To Know: Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Manchester City (Champions League RO16)

Manchester City travel to the Puskas Arena to face German outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.
Author:
Publish date:

Manchester City travel to the Puskas Arena to face German outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.

The tie was meant to take place at Borussia Park - the home of the Blues' opponents - however strict COVID-19 travel restrictions in the country have meant the tie has to take place in Hungary. 

Here's everything you need to know before this one...

-----

Team News:

Pep Guardiola has confirmed everyone is fit and available for selection bar Nathan Aké - who is still recovering from a muscular problem. That means there could be an appearance from Sergio Agüero, who is slowly building his fitness week by week. 

For Borussia, centre-back Mamadou Doucoure is still unavailable with a knee problem, whilst the tricky Marcus Thuram is a doubt with a muscular injury.

Head To Head:

This will be the 7th meeting between City and Borussia. The first two came in the group stage of the 1979 UEFA Cup, with the Blues drawing 1-1 at Maine Road and losing the away tie 3-1. 

More recently, the sides have met in the group stage of the Champions League twice - in 2015 and 2016. In them four meetings, City have been dominant, winning three times and drawing once with an aggregate score of 11-4. Many fans will be hoping to see the return of Sergio Agüero at some point tonight, with the Argentine scoring a hat-trick the last time the sides met at the Etihad Stadium.

Form Guide:

What else can be said about Manchester City's magnificent winning run. Since defeat at Spurs in November, City are unbeaten in 25 games in all competitions and are on a 18 game winning run. In the Champions League, the Blues dominated Group C; winning five of the six games. 

Borussia Mönchengladbach's Champions League run this season shouldn't go unnoticed. The German underdogs qualified from this year's 'group of death' including Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shaktar Donesk. They have also enjoyed a brilliant Bundesliga season, but haven't won a game in three, meaning they've slipped to 8th in the league. However, big wins over the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund should remind City they're just as capable of providing a giant killing.

Manager's thoughts:

Prior to today's clash, Pep Guardiola was speaking to the media about the reasons he feels his side has failed to progress to the latter stages of this particular competition.

"All times we went out of the #UCL, we played a high level. We were so close. In football when you analyse the last two months, how good we've been, we're going to do that for the rest of the season. But it cannot work in the future and the future is tomorrow," he began.

"Football is the most unpredictable game. If you believe everything is under control, you cannot do it. If Harry Kane had scored rather than hit the post and they had defended as they can, it could have been 0-2 and we are the same team.

I had the feeling against Tottenham or Lyon - we were better. In 180 minutes against Tottenham, we were better but we were out. That is football. All you can do is play the game, play to our principles and with desire. I'm focused on this game."

Borussia's manager Marco Rose comes into the tie with a lot of European pedigree, and when speaking about the tie, he wants his side to enjoy it.

“I’m thrilled that the lads get to play in a game like this,” the German said yesterday. “I hope when they go to bed tonight, they think about how they felt in Madrid when we qualified.

If there is something that Manchester City don’t like, then it’s not having the ball. We need to play with courage and defend with passion. I have a team that is absolutely capable of that.”

Match Officials:

Refereeing tonight's game will be Portuguese born Artur Dias, who has took charge of three Champions League games already - showing 18 yellow cards.

Helping him will be linesman Rui Taveres (POR) and Bruno Rodrigues (POR), with Hugo Micheal (POR) as the fourth official. VAR, as usual, will be in operation and will be in the hands of Joao Pinheiro (POR) and Massimiliano Irrati (ITA).

-----

You can follow Harry on Twitter here: @HarryASiddall

Follow us on Twitter for live updates: @City_Xtra