The Group D of Champions and Death draws to a close with injury plagued City aiming for a Europa League consolation prize by defeating Dortmund in Germany
‘The match at City was surely one of the best ever for a Dortmund team. We were extremely quick, ran extremely well and were tactically very strong. Normally you win such a game, but that was not the case then. As it turned out, it didn’t do us much harm. I can not really say how tomorrow’s game will develop because I have no idea how City will line up. The squad has huge quality, no matter who is playing, but I also know that the big Manchester derby is coming up this weekend. We will see where their priorities lie. You can’t always play like we did in Manchester, but, of course, we should try. Sometimes in the Champions League clubs tend to rest players when they are through. We had not qualified for a long time and we will not do that.’
‘We are disappointed because we wanted to reach the second round. I believe that there are times when there are teams in football that are better than you and you have to respect that. We have to accept that Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid played better than we did and we’ll have to try again next season. But it was not an embarrassment. We are not thinking of the derby this weekend. We have a difficult match coming up here and we brought all our players except the injured ones. Borussia Dortmund are currently one of the best teams in Europe and we have a difficult match ahead of us.’
Borussia Dortmund Team News:
LATE FITNESS TEST:
Player to watch: Marco Reus
The rabbit catching, goal poaching creative speedster is starting to put sides to the sword on the international stage as his star continues to rise. Having already taken City’s backline to the cleaners in Manchester, Reus has to be stopped at all costs if The Blues are to get anything out of this game.
Manchester City Team News:
Yaya Touré – Suspended
Kolo Touré – Ineligible
LATE FITNESS TEST:
Player to watch: Mario Balotelli
City lacked drive and spark against Everton at the weekend and something special from Mario is long overdue. There’s an air of clock ticking about Mario in that he can’t surely continue to court so much attention without actually making things happen consistently. This is a game where the forwards have to deliver and if he starts this game, yet another opportunity knocks for the enigmatic Italian to prove his worth.
Match Facts & Stats
Mario Götze’s 3rd goal in 4 games resulted in a 1-1 draw at FC Bayern Munich on Saturda. Dortmund are now unbeaten in 11 games across all competitions.
The German champions have been caught offside just 5 times, the joint lowest total in the Champions League group stage along with Stretford favourites Cluj and Benfica. The English champions meanwhile have been caught offside 25 times. That’s more than any other club at this level this season.
Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and the suspended Yaya Touré have played every minute of City’s group stage campaign to date.
Touré is serving a 1 game ban after collecting his 3rd yellow card of the group stage against Real in Manchester. Yellow cards for either Javi García or Kompany here would mean suspension next time out in Europe.
Betting: Draw 11/4 Dortmund Evens City 5/2 Racing Post Soccerbase
TV Coverage: Sky Sports 2
Manchester City 1-1 Borussia Dortmund | 03.10.12 | highlights:
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Milorad Ma?ić of Serbia The 39 year old Serbian cardsmith has just graduated from the Serbian Super League through the Europa League to take on Champions League football this season. Made his top table debut reffing Barcelona versus Spartak Moscow. Something of an unknown quantity. source: WorldReferee.com
Johnny On The Spot:
We’re not really here again for what rapidly became earmarked as a daunting fixture once we began to appreciate just how good this Dortmund side are. Their collective movement, pace and combative style is second to none and they are the best club side this correspondent has seen by a country mile so far this season. For City to win here it is going to take some doing and from start to finish The Blues tempo has to be maintained at a high level, pressing their opponents back up the field and snapping into every tackle. There is no margin for error. Fail to compete and you risk getting battered in Dortmund. It will be interesting to see how Borussia approach this mentally having already qualified for the next phase and how City react to all the stick they’ve shipped in Europe. But hand on heart, I think that based upon what we’ve seen so far this season, City will either lose or come away with a creditable draw. I’m holding out for the latter and hopefully a real show of pride from a makeshift City side ahead of the Stretfords coming to town. Borussia Dortmund 1 City 1
all times East Manchester
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We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL
Tu 01Jan 15h00 Stoke, The Etihad, PL
Sa/Su 05/06 Jan TBC Watford, The Etihad, FAC
Su 13Jan 16h00 Arsenal, The Emirates, PL
Sa 19Jan 15h00 Fulham, The Etihad, PL
Tu 29Jan 19h45 QPR, Loftus Road, PL