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Prior to the international break, Manchester City will have two knockout fixtures to tackle. They are the heavy favorites to make it to the UCL quarter-finals for the sixth year running, especially as they earned a 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig in Germany during the first leg of their Round of 16 tie.
Guardiola expressed his pleasure in Manchester City’s 1-1 draw in the prior matchup with Leipzig, leaving him with an optimistic outlook as his side has been victorious in four consecutive games in all tournaments, having scored ten times in that stretch. Moreover, City has emerged triumphant in nine straight home games against German adversaries in UEFA matches, including a 6-3 trouncing of Leipzig during the 2021/22 group stage.
Last time Leipzig entered the UCL Round of 16, they were eliminated by English opposition. They faced multiple-goal losses on their travels to England (5-0 and 2-0) this season. Their status for the upcoming UCL isn’t secured yet, but their performance against Mönchengladbach at the weekend saw them dominant in the second half with a 3-0 victory. This ended a 2-1 defeat away to Dortmund, which their coach Marco Rose found “hard to accept”.
Under the expert guidance of Rose, the team’s performance saw a dramatic improvement. They went on to close their group stage journey with four successive wins, including those at Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic where the opponents failed to even score a goal. In the last season’s Europa League, the Germans managed to bring forth away wins at Real Sociedad and Atalanta despite having to contend with home leg draws. However, achieving the feat of being the first team to beat Etihad in a UEFA match since 2018/19 will prove to be a greater test altogether.
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