Saturday, June 25, 2022

3 Key Battles To Watch Out For When Manchester City Face Borussia Monchengladbach

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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 have Borussia Monchengladbach up next in the Champions League as they will look to cement a place in the Round of 16. City got new found confidence as a Pep Guardiola master-minded performance ended Barcelona’s complete domination over the Sky Blues. A win or a draw will be enough to book a place for City in the next round while a loss for Gladbach will see them compete with Celtic for a spot in the Europa League.

Although City were deserved 4-0 winners in the reverse fixture, Gladbach are a different proposition altogether in their own backyard. Pep will be wary of the fact that his personal record in extremely unenviable against the German side and will play his strongest side in the match.

Let us take a brief look at the 3 key battles which might have a bearing on the eventual result.

SERGIO AGUERO VS CHRISTENSEN

The Argentine was unstoppable against Gladbach in the first match and scored a hat-trick despite missing two penalties in that game. Although he has blown hot and cold this season, it is expected the Germans will find it tough to contain the Argentine. Christensen, on loan from Chelsea, has shown a lot of promise and is their defensive mainstay. It will be interesting to see how the Dane goes about trying to tackle Sergio.

STINDL VS FERNANDINHO

Lars Stindl has been their standout attacking player so far this season and is their highest goal scorer and has also provided 2 assists till now. He has been played in an unfamiliar role behind the two strikers and together with Hazard and Raffael will be more than a handful for the jittery City defence.

VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League

Hence, Fernandinho’s role becomes vital here with the defensive work done by the Brazilian expected to increase. He has to screen the defence and stem the flow of the attacking tide that is likely to hit the City side.

RAFFAEL VS JOHN STONES

Manchester City’s tendency to somehow concede will have the likes of Raffael looking at the match as an opportunity to be the hero for his side. Gladbach know only one way of playing and they will fearlessly attack the City backline and his quick movement is capable of unsettling the likes of John Stones.

Stones has shown a tendency to stick to his game and has taken risks quite regularly. 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.

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