Manchester City - Borussia Dortmund Preview: Mancini's side look to extend 17-match unbeaten home run
The Italian manager's side are hoping to replicate the 2-0 victory they achieved over German opposition during the group stages of last year's Champions League
By Ewan Roberts
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Silva, Yaya Toure, Aguero
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus
Maicon (ankle/foot), Jack Rodwell (groin) and Micah Richards (ankle/foot) are all sidelined, but otherwise Roberto Mancini has a full quota of players to choose from.
The Italian manager is expected to field a similar side to that which beat Fulham 2-1 in the league, with Matija Nastasic and Gael Clichy continuing in defence ahead of Joleon Lescott and Aleksandar Kolarov respectively.
Despite scoring the winning goal at Craven Cottage, Edin Dzeko will probably remain on the bench with Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero retaining their places.
Jurgen Klopp has no notable absences and should be able to field a full strength side at the Etihad Stadium.
Robert Lewandowski was rested for Dortmund's 5-0 win against Borussia Monchengladbach at the weekend but will return to the side with Julian Schieber dropping back to the bench.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City are yet to keep a clean sheet this season. The Citizens have conceded 17 goals in nine games in all competitions.
- City are undefeated at home in their last 17 European matches.
- Mancini's men failed to win their last two home games. It is two years since Man City last went three games without winning at home.
- City have a positive record at home to German opposition, having won home ties against Bayern Munich, Hamburg and Schalke, while drawing with Borussia Monchengladbach.
- City and Dortmund have never met in a competitive match, but did face each other in a preseason fixture two years ago with the German club winning 3-1.
- Borussia Dortmund lost all three of their away fixtures in last season's Champions League, including a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal.
- Marco Reus (pictured right) leads the German champions' scoring charts this season with five goals in seven games in all competitions.
- Dortmund's 31-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga was ended last week by Hamburg.
- No side has averaged more shots per game away from home (17.7) than Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season, nor has any side conceded fewer (8.7).
- Dortmund have lost on their last three visits to England (against Arsenal twice and Liverpool), but beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1997 en route to winning the competition.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City FC 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
- 14.66 %
Manchester City FC 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
- 14.64 %
Manchester City FC 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 14.35 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 4, 2012||Borussia Dortmund 1 - Manchester City FC 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 3, 2012||Manchester City FC 1 - Borussia Dortmund 1|
|Club Friendlies (FR)||Aug 4, 2010||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Manchester City FC 1|
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The Man City captain has yet to oversee a clean sheet this season, and there are murmurs emanating from the City faithful that the Belgian centre-back hasn't been performing at the level he is capable of. But he'll have to be at his best in order to organise and invigorate a fragile backline and shut out a fast, fearless and fluid Dortmund attack. Kompany also poses a significant threat at set-pieces, a source of potential joy for Man City.
The man bought in anticipation of the sale of Shinji Kagawa is just as much of a goal threat as the Japanese playmaker he has replaced. Quick, tricky, direct and creative, Reus poses a significant danger to a leaky Man City defence likely to be preoccupied by Lewandowski. The former Gladbach attacker is also hitting form, having scored twice against his old club at the weekend in a devastating, man of the match performance.
Dortmund attack relentlessly with speed and efficiency, while Mancini's side is less conservative than it once was. Both sides are top heavy and free-scoring, but are liable to concede goals too. Dortmund's backline is marginally the more vulnerable of the two, conceding three goals back-to-back in the Bundesliga against lesser attacks than they'll face at the Etihad Stadium. Both teams will create chances, but Man City’s frontline duo of Tevez and Aguero are more clinical than the occasionally wayward and imprecise finishing of Lewandowski. City's home advantage, physical power in midfield and goalscoring options off the bench should be enough to overpower and outscore the visitors.