Manchester City are set to welcome Borussia Monchengladbach to the Etihad Stadium as they look to get their Champions League campaign off to a positive start. Pep Guardiola’s opening burst to his managerial stint in England couldn’t have gone better as the results and the performances keep on improving with every passing game. Currently on a 6 match unbeaten streak, City’s latest prey was their arch rivals Manchester United. But Pep Guardiola will be keeping his and his player’s feet on the ground as he will be knowing the task will only get tougher with each passing match. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager will be able to call upon the services of Sergio Aguero who is free to play in Europe and fans might well be looking at another debut in the form of Ilkay Gundogan.
We take a brief look at 3 battles likely to be key in tomorrow’s match.
SERGIO AGUERO VS ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN
The Argentine hitman will be eligible to play in the fixture and provides a huge boost for the Sky Blues. Although the team has got off to a near-perfect start, Pep Guardiola will realise the need to turn up in these sort of matches as he knows the habit of playing against a team who don’t have much to lose in these sort of fixtures. The Chelsea loanee will have his hands full throughout the 90 minutes and a good performance against the free-scoring City side will go a long way in establishing himself.
LARS STINDL VS FERNANDINHO
Though a debut for Gundogan is in the offing and Pep also has the option of playing Fernando after the Brazilian played a vital role in the 2nd half against Manchester United, it is highly likely that Fernandinho is going to be Pep’s go to man once again as the player to shield the defence.
Fernandinho has been immense and is perhaps one of the most underrated midfielders in the world right now. He will have to deal with the Lars Stindl after successfully keeping the likes of Paul Pogba and Rooney quiet on Saturday. But it will be an interesting battle nonetheless with the Gladbach player likely to express himself without any fear.
RAFFAEL VS JOHN STONES
One thing which will be worrying Guardiola is that they haven’t been able to keep a clean sheet till now other than the qualifying match of the Champions League. And their tendency to somehow concede will have the likes of Raffael looking at the match as an opportunity to be the hero for his side. They will fearlessly attack the City backline and his quick movement is capable of unsettling the likes of John Stones who has been playing non-stop for City. It will be an interesting battle to see Raffael pressing the City centre-backs which will make it difficult for them to play out from the back.