Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Manchester City’s Journey To Glasgow To Take On Celtic: 3 Game-Deciding Key Battles

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Manchester City get back to Champions League duty when they face a Celtic side managed by Brendan Rodgers, away from home. City have flown off the blocks and have won all their 11 fixtures till now. Pep Guardiola has transformed this City side into a well-oiled machine and they are on their way to mastering the art of churning out wins. But their real test in terms of fixtures will be the matches in October with the Sky Blues facing the brunt of difficult Premier League matches along with Champions League. On the other hand, Celtic are top of the table expectedly and Brendan Rodgers is well on his way to lifting the Scottish Premier League trophy in his first season as the Hoops manager.

With the two of them scheduled to meet on Wednesday, we look at 3 key battles which might decide the outcome of the match at the end of 90 minutes.


Bacary Sagna was an ever present fixture for City last season and played for the National team on every occasion. His age has not seen a dip in performance and he has continued to churn out the performances this season, despite a more rotational role with Zabaleta. He will have a job on his hands on Wednesday with none other than City misfit Scott Sinclair slated to start on the left-flank.

Sinclair endured a terrible time at the Etihad but by his performances this season, it is quite evident he has moved on. The former Swansea man has scored 6 goals and assisted a further 2 and he will be excited to get onto the field against his former side. With City always susceptible to pace, this is an area Pep has to put his attention on.


The former City and Liverpool man has joined Rodgers at Celtic and come Wednesday, has to show his experience and guide the Celtic defence against the marauding Sky Blues. City will be without De Bruyne but Sergio Aguero will be a more than sufficient threat to the Celtic backline.


The explosive Argentine is already on 11 goals from 6 games including 2 hat-tricks in 2 Champions League matches he has played so far. Toure will have to gather all his wits and experience to keep out the little master from City and the manner in which he is able to do so will have a bearing on the result.


In light of the injury to Kevin De Bruyne, it will be Gundogan who is partnered with Silva to operate in the No.8 role. He has seen a positive start to life at City after his long injury lay-off and his Champions League experience will be something Guardiola will be keen to tap. Scott Brown has been impressive thus far in midfield and the two of them will see a lot of each other in midfield.

His combative nature will ensure that Gundogan will not be having it easy on the night. The Celtic captain will have to take the responsibility of minimalizing Gundogan’s effect and his influence from slightly deeper areas and the way this particular battle turns out will have a bearing on the result of the game.

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