Borussia Dortmund vs Manchester City: Match preview
Stadium: Signal Iduna Park
Referee: Milorad Mazic
Kick-off: 1:15 AM (IST), Wednesday, 05th of November
Over the weekend, Dortmund managed to rescue a point against Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, at the latter’s stadium. Manchester City, on the other hand, host Premier League toppers, Manchester United, in a mouthwatering derby encounter this weekend. Thus, this clash comes at a time that is both good and bad for the English club. Dortmund have already secured top spot in the group, and are unlikely to risk their key players for this game.
City, however, need nothing short of a win, something they haven’t managed in this tournament this year, in order to have hopes of continued European football, unless of course, Ajax beat Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Thus, Roberto Mancini has the tough task on hand, of choosing a team that treads the delicate area between European and domestic ambitions.
Borussia Dortmund: W W W D D
Dortmund have been simply superb in Europe this season, and this has taken a toll on their league campaign, which has suffered from a slow start. In recent weeks, however, Dortmund have really pulled together and churned out the results, with their last defeat coming 11 fixtures ago. Thus, the fans will not be expecting a loss, particularly at home, even though the points earned do not matter. The reigning German champions are also one of just five teams to be undefeated in this year’s competition, and will be keen to keep that record going, for cosmetic value, if nothing else. With no clean sheets in their last seven outings, however, one cannot quite predict whether they will manage to do so.
Manchester City: W D D W D
Manchester City have done quite well since the last time these two met, losing just one of their twelve fixtures since then. That loss, however, came in a crunch game against Ajax, and City paid the price of being knocked out of Europe’s elite competition. In contrast to their opposition, City have relied heavily on their defence this season, in spite of having a stellar line up of attackers, and three clean sheets in their last five games hold testament to that fact. Tonight, however, needing nothing less than a win, it will be interesting to see who plays up front, with Sir Alex’s Red devils waiting in the wings come the weekend.
Borussia Dortmund: Chris Lowe, Patrick Owomoyela.
Manchester City: Jack Rodwell, Micah Richards, Gael Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner, David Silva, Yaya Toure.
Ivan Perisic vs Maicon
The Croatian winger has been in the news recently for being disgruntled with his failure to hold down a regular starting spot in the Dortmund line-up. Tonight, he is likely to be given a chance to prove himself, with Reus earning a well deserved rest. Manchester City have a mild injury crisis, with no one to play at left back, and Zabaleta might well be asked to cover. This will mean that Maicon will probably start at right-back, an unfamiliar position. With the Brazilian’s tendency to surge forward at every opportunity, especially on a night like this, when his team needs to win at all costs, he might just leave behind a gap that Perisic can exploit to his, and Dortmund’s advantage.
Mario Balotelli vs Roman Weidenfeller
In spite of what manager, Mancini, has said about being not worried about the upcoming derby clash, the sky blues will most certainly know that their priorities lie domestically, and not in Europe. Thus, Mario Balotelli, who scored the penalty which rescued a point against Dortmund at home, is likely to start this game, having also been mentioned by the manager during his press conference. The Italian striker loves having a go at goal, and is fairly adept at getting his attempts on target. Trying to prevent those attempts from ending in the back of the net will be Roman Weidenfeller, who had a stunning game against Bayern Munich, pulling off 4 brilliant saves late in the game, and giving his confidence a shot in the arm.
The first win of the campaign for the visitors. It is true that Dortmund are a top team, but they have been playing plenty of football lately, and after the weekend’s gruelling trip to the Allianz Arena, Jurgen Klopp is likely to rest more than one key figures for this match. Mancini, on the other hand, has declared that City are focused on winning this encounter, even with the derby looming, and should have more quality than Dortmund on the pitch. Might be sufficient to win.