On Tuesday, Manchester City will host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, with Thomas Tuchel now coaching the German giants. Julian Nagelsmann was still in command when the draw for the final eight was made, and the Bundesliga champions only made the switch during the recent international break. Bayern defeated Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, but with the change in head coach, this tie seems quite different for Pep Guardiola’s City. Tuchel, of course, helped Chelsea to UCL triumph at the cost of City in Porto in 2021 and is well acquainted with Guardiola. With Erling Haaland in free-scoring form and the Germans likely to concentrate on keeping things tight given their offensive worries, this one will be entertaining over two legs.
How they arrived
City won Group G with 14 points out of a possible 18 points, finishing five points clear of Bayern’s Bundesliga championship rivals Borussia Dortmund in a group that also included Sevilla and Copenhagen. In the round of 16, Guardiola’s men faced RB Leipzig, who were thrashed 8-1 on aggregate following a 7-0 second leg battering at the hands of a ruthless Haaland, who scored five goals.
The Champions League had previously been Bayern’s most consistent battleground, with 18 points from 18 in Group C to finish eight points ahead of Inter Milan in second place. Despite defeating PSG on the road and again at home, with ex-Parisiens scoring two of three goals in a 3-0 aggregate victory, Nagelsmann was fired during the most recent international break, giving this tie a completely different appearance than when the draw was made.
News from the team
City: Guardiola has almost his whole team available for this game, with the exception of Phil Foden, who is currently recuperating from an appendix surgery. Bernardo Silva might replace Riyad Mahrez, but despite John Stones’ recent appearances in midfield, Aymeric Laporte is unlikely to move into the defence.
Eric from Bayern Tuchel will have to innovate in attack with Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller both available due to Maxim Choupo-Moting’s knee injury. Leon Goretzka missed the game against Freiburg, so expect him to start today, while Jamal Musiala might be moved farther up the field. Sadio Mane may have to compete with Kingsley Coman for a starting spot, and the Frenchman has scored a first-leg winner away at PSG in the previous round.
This matchup between Tuchel and Guardiola promises to be close and interesting. The visitors’ goal will be to remain in this tie for the second leg at Allianz Arena, therefore avoiding loss will be the primary goal. City -1, Bayern -1.