Competition: UEFA Champions League (Round of 16)
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Time : 2200hrs
Manchester City face German side RB Leipzig in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match. The Citizens come into the game with a 1-1 draw after playing out a stalemate at the Red Bull Arena.
The sky blues are aiming for a sixth successive quarter final and equal Arsenal record of longest home run by an English club in the UEFA Champions League. The Gunners went on a 24-game unbeaten run between September 2004 and April 2009. Manchester Unite broke the unbeaten run when they defeated Arsenal in the Emirates Stadium with a crushing 3-1 win.
Manchester City are the favorites to win the match with a 71 %-win probability while RB Leipzig are distant second with win probability of 11 %.
Despite winning group G comfortably in the 2022/23 Champions league season, City has not swept all in front of them like previous seasons. This season has produced 3 draws away from home at Copenhagen, Dortmund in the group stage and RB Leipzig in the round of 16. At home the Citizens are yet to be defeated and will aim to secure their place in the quarter final.
Manchester City won their Premier league match thanks to an Erling Haaland Penalty scored in the 78th minute. City players were uncharacteristically wasteful failing to neutralize Crystal Palace. Erling Haaland was guilty of wastefulness with a shot accuracy of 20% after achieving 1 shot on target from 5 shots.
The Citizens are enjoying a good run of form having won 4 games in a row since they played RB Leipzig. The side from Manchester have dominated most sides in possession having over 55% possession in all games. In that period Manchester City have scored 10 goals and only conceded 1 goal.
Despite Leipzig suffering a heavy defeat to Shaktar Donetsk at home and a defeat to Real Madrid away the team showed great character to bounce back. RB Leipzig then went undefeated in the last 4 games to secure second place in group F behind Real Madrid.
In comparison RB Leipzig have played three games since they played Manchester City in the Champions League. In the 3 games played Leipzig have won two games against Frankfurt and Monchengladbach losing to Dortmund. RB Leipzig have scored 6 goals and conceded 3 goals. In all games despite the result Leipzig have had over 50 % of possession.
Erling Haaland with 28 goals is the premier league’s top goal scorer. In the Champions league he has played 5 games and scored 5 times. In the champions league Haaland has an xG of 4.0.
The Norwegian has made 16 shots in the competition with only 8 shots being on target (50% accuracy). Given his involvement in the games he has played Haaland needs to be more clinical in front of goal. Manchester City will rely heavily on Haaland to proceed in the tie.
Christopher Nkunku with 12 goals is joined second on the top goal scorers in the Bundesliga behind Niclas Fullkrug of Werder Bremen. In the champions league Nkunku has played 7 games scoring 3 goals and assisting 1 goal. He has an xG of 1.6 in the champions league. The player has a shot accuracy of 53% after getting 8/15 shots on target in the Champions League.
Kevin De Bruyne
The importance of Kevin De Bruyne can not be stressed as he is the top provider of assist to the forward. The player has however not been at his sparkling best in recent games. As a result, the player has been sidelined while he fights his way to gain form.
Kevin De Bruyne’s role has grown more critical especially with the transfer of Cancelo to Bayern Munich. De Bruyne is now the main source of through balls (3), switches of play (5) and crosses(24). Man City will have to work hard to get the midfielder back in form to sustain their Champions league charge.
Man City Lineup
Pep Guardiola is set to be working with a full squad. Expected squad to play RB Leipzig.
Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish
RB Leipzig Lineup
Nkunku, Schlager, Gulacsci and Diallo are all on the sidelines. Expected squad to play Manchester City
Blaswich, Henrichs, Orban, Gvardiol, Halstenberg, Laimer, Haidara, Szobosczlai, Forsberg, Werner, Silva
Players, coaches press statements.
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City Manager)
Pep Guardiola will not underestimate the threat of RB Leipzig in the round of 16 second leg game. He told the that City have to win at all costs in front of their fans. The Citizens will aim to control the game as they did in the half of the first leg. Leipzig came out stronger in the second half and equalized.
Pep Guardiola also said despite the injuries Leipzig are still a strong squad. He complimented the aggression and pressing that Leipzig play with and tactics employed by their team. Guardiola said that his team will find spaces and try to punish the German side.
Pep Guardiola also encouraged Kevin De Bruyne to do more of the simple things and have greater mobility. He believes that if the Belgian improves these simple things will improve his overall performance.
Ikay Gundogan (Manchester City Captain)
Gundogan has highlighted the important role the City fans will have in pushing the team in their game against RB Leipzig. He praised the supporters at home and on the road and hinted that they will be decisive factor in winning the game.
Ikay also highlighted that RB Leipzig should not be underestimated at all as they are a complete side with very good players all round. He encouraged his team to rise to the occasion and give a good performance to se them through.
Marco Rose (RB Leipzig Boss)
Marco Rose believes that Manchester City are a better team since the transfer of Haaland. He acknowledged the good performances by the Norwegian in the Champions league so far leading to his 5 goals.
He commented on the options that City can now employ against their opposition compared to last season. Last season City were restricted to playing a false 9 system however now with Haaland they have a target man.
Rose also paid tribute to Pep Guardiola who he believes has improved the players and club in addition to all the accolades won.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City Player)
De Bruyne told the media that the Citizens will not underestimate RB Leipzig in the tie. De Bruyne highlighted that his team appreciates all the strengthens that Leipzig possess and will be prepared. Kevin played against them in Germany while at Wolfsburg and has also met with them recently in the UEFA champions league.