Manchester City’s quadruple quest continues on Tuesday night, when they welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad Stadium for the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Pep Guardiola will be looking to make it to the last four of the elite European competition for the first time as City boss.
The last eight of the Champions League has been a hurdle which Manchester City have failed to clear since Manuel Pellegrini’s final season as the club's head coach, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon having eliminated the Blues at this stage of the competition in the past three seasons.
In 2014, Sergio Aguero declared that he would stay “until we win it” when asked about winning Europe's premier competition, but having announced that Manchester City’s all-time top goalscorer will depart the club at the end of this season, some may say that there is an added incentive for the Blues to finally add the Champions League trophy to their ever-growing list of honours.
The man, who some are tipping to replace Sergio Aguero this summer is Erling Haaland. The in-demand 20 year-old is expected to lead the line for an out of form and flailing Borussia Dortmund side, whose season is somewhat suddenly reliant on this competition.
If Manchester City are to make the final of this Champions League for the first time in their history, they will potentially have to overcome last season’s top two Bundesliga clubs, with Pep Guardiola’s former side Bayern Munich, or Paris Saint-Germain being the possible semi-final opponents of the winner of this quarter-final.
As Manchester City seek to end their horrid Champions League quarter-final losing streak, here is everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s first-leg tie with Borussia Dortmund...
Pep Guardiola is expected to have a fully-fit squad to choose from on Tuesday evening, with a number of key players likely to feature for the first time since the latest international break, having named Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Joao Cancelo and John Stones as substitutes at Leicester on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund are expected to be without Youssoufa Moukoko, Dan Axel Zagadou, Axel Witsel and Marcel Shmelzer, though they did welcome Marco Reus, Raphael Guerreiro and Mateu Morey back to training last week.
BVB’s biggest absentee will be Jadon Sancho, who the Athletic’s Sam Lee reported on Sunday is “likely” to miss the first-leg due to injury. The English winger, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, spent the international break in Dubai in an attempt to be fit for the first-leg clash against his former club.
Manchester City come into Tuesday’s game having won 26 of their past 27 games and having lost only once since November. The Blues have won five of their last six league games, and are unbeaten in this season’s Champions League so far. They also became only the third team to keep seven consecutive clean sheets in the competition last time out in Budapest, with it being 706 minutes since Ederson last conceded in Europe.
Former Borussia Dortmund player Ilkay Gundogan is Manchester City’s top scorer this season, but it is Erling Haaland who is the leading goalscorer in this season’s Champions League - having scored in all six of his previous appearances.
Borussia Dortmund themselves are on treacherous run of form, having slipped seven points off of fourth place in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with a 2-1 loss - a tenth loss of the season for Edin Terzic.
The German side have won just one of their last four league matches and are in grave danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League next season. Borussia Dortmund qualified for the quarter-finals after a 5-4 aggregate win over Sevilla prior to the international break.
The Last Meeting
Manchester City have never beaten Borussia Dortmund, with the Sky Blues failing to beat them on both occasions in the 2012/2013 Champions League group stage.
The last meeting between the two sides was at the Westfalenstadion in December 2012, where Manchester City suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat. Sergio Aguero came on as a substitute in that game, as he replaced Scott Sinclair. Maicon, Matija Nastasic and Javi Garcia all started that night, with Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko upfront.
Pep’s Pre-Match Thoughts
When asked about Tuesday’s meeting, Pep Guardiola said, "We're going to do as much as possible. We analyse Dortmund as a group, as a team. I want to play to try to win this game. After Leeds, after Dortmund. It doesn't matter the result tomorrow - positive or negative. After, we're going to decide how the game was.”
Pep Guardiola was unsurprisingly asked about Norwegian striker Erling Haaland during his press conference and said, “All I can say is he is an exceptional striker for his age. The numbers speak for themselves. He's a fantastic player, that's all."
The Manchester City boss is aware of the threat Borussia Dortmund carry, partly due to his time in Germany as Bayern Munich manager, and when questioned about his memories of the Black and Yellows, he responded saying, “In Munich, they were our big rivals. Every year, we had to fight against them. The first season with Jurgen Klopp, and after with Thomas Tuchel. We played two times, the Cup final. They were big rivals... I'm looking forward to playing again against them."
Ovidiu Haţegan will lead a Romanian on-field team and Italian off-field team on Tuesday evening at the Etihad Stadium.
Haţegan, who has refereed 24 games in all competitions so far this season, has already officiated a Champions League game in Manchester, with the Romanian taking charge of Manchester United in November.
He has produced 88 yellow cards and four red cards so far this season, and also took charge of Shakhtar Donetsk’s shock 2-0 victory over Real Madrid and Rangers’ recent 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague.
Haţegan will be joined by assistant referees Octavian Șovre and Sebastian Gheorghe, fourth official István Kovács, as well Marco Di Bello (VAR) and Paolo Valeri (AVAR) on Tuesday night.
Should Haţegan produce a yellow card to Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, or Fernandinho and Joao Cancelo of Manchester City, then they will be unable to play in the second-leg, with the three players being a caution away from a one match suspension.
Where To Watch
Manchester City’s latest European night will be kicking off at 20:00 GMT and will be live on BT Sport for viewers in the UK.
As well as numerous other broadcasters worldwide, the game will be live on major sporting channels including DAZN in Germany, CBS in the United States and Optus Sport in Australia.
Those in the UK can also listen to full match commentary on BBC Five Live or BBC Radio Manchester.
Matchday with City Xtra
As well as live match coverage of Manchester City’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Lewis and Jordan will be providing all the pre-match, in-game and post-match discussion on the City Xtra Youtube channel.
The pair will be hosting the City Xtra live watch-along followed by providing you with the opportunity to have your say on Tuesday’s tie with the post-match phone-in show, all live on the City Xtra Youtube channel.
You can follow us for live updates here: @City_Xtra