Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich Preview

Uefa Champions League

Football
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Published: 12/12/2011

Itís win or bust for Manchester City in the Champions League as they prepare to host Bayern Munich at the Etihad Arena on December 7, however a victory over the German giants may still not be enough for Roberto Manciniís men who are also relying on Napoli to falter against Villarreal if they are to progress through to the second phase of the competition.

Mega-rich City have made an incredible start to the domestic season, winning ten and drawing two of their opening twelve games which famously included a 1-6 demolition of arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

With a five point buffer already established at the top of the Barclays Premier League, it seems as if Mancini has really found the formula to success and the core strengths of his star-studded squad.

Nevertheless, it has been a different story for the Citizens at Europeís top table as they have struggled to accommodate to life in amongst some of the continentís most experienced and seasoned outfits.

Back to back wins over Villarreal put City back on track following a disappointing home draw to Napoli and a comprehensive defeat to Bayern at the Allianz Arena.

But after suffering their second loss of the tournament to the Italianís in Naples, City now sit on the brink of elimination with a Europa League campaign beckoning, unless the groupís Spanish whipping boys can offer them a huge favour by denying Napoli at El-Madrigal.

With nothing more to lose, City are likely to throw everything they have at Bayern and the bookmakers certainly believe they will be too strong on their home turf for Jupp Heynckes side with 7/10 being the best price available, despite the Bavarianís clear superiority over City in the reverse fixture.

However with an important domestic season to also focus on, Bayern are likely to refrain from a tooth and nail battle with their last 16 qualification already secure.

It is hard to envisage Heynckes committing a full strength team and potentially risking injuries or suspensions for the latter stages of the competition.

With a booming Etihad Arena in full voice, the occasion is undoubtedly set for City to try and turn things around and prolong their challenge in the worldís most prestigious club competition.

A defeat of the illustrious Munich club would also go down in history as their greatest European result to date.

Bayernís obvious threat will come down the flanks, especially if Messrs Ribery and Robben are allowed any time on the pitch.

A Manchester City in full flight should however be able to produce the goods against a team who may not be able to dictate the tempo of the game like they usually can if many of their best players are left on the bench. Odds of 7/10 are hardly great value nonetheless despite the likelihood of City being able to force a momentous victory.

At around 11/10, Under 2.5 Goals is perhaps the way to go - there were only two goals when the teams met in late September and this affair is likely to be even tighter as City only need to win by one goal and Bayern will probably aim to get men behind the ball and play out what is a highly insignificant fixture for them.

Should City beat Bayern but fail to qualify for the knockout phase due to the Villarreal/Napoli result, it will be immediately interesting to see what price the bookmakers offer for the Manchester side in terms of the Europa League Ė for which they will unquestionably be heavy favourites to win.


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