Tuesday sees the return of the UEFA Champions League to the Etihad Stadium! After City’s comfortable 6-0 aggregate victory over Steaua Bucharest, they find themselves matched against Barcelona, Celtic and Borussia Mönchengladbach in Group C.
Last year saw City beat Borussia Monchengladbach both home and away, and manager Pep Guardiola will be hoping for a victory against a team he struggled against while in charge of Bayern Munich. Ahead of the game we spoke to USA Borussen, Gladbach’s only only USA based fan club, to get the lowdown on our German opponents.
Hi guys – thanks for coming on! Let’s talk Borussia Mönchengladbach. What do you believe makes them a different prospect to the side that City faced and defeated twice last year?
Ah, on to the the next Champions League campaign for us. As you all know we lost a key player in Granit Xhaka to Arsenal, our captain that is. Also, we lost a key defender in Håvard Nordtveit to the Hammers. But, that doesn’t mean we are a worse squad than last year. We found a great replacement in Christoph Kramer and signed a great tall talented Dane defender in Jannik Vestergaard. Then a bunch of young prospects for the future.
So how are we different? Well it’s actually a totally different team: new Captain, new tactics (diamond formation) than last year, relying heavy on the counterattacks and playing a risky high line. It will be great to see how City prepare for this.
From a Manchester City point of view; Pep Guardiola has a poor record against your team, but is there a weakness in the side that he may look to exploit on Tuesday night?
Yes, Guardiola has a tough time facing Mönchengladbach. This doesn’t mean he’s a bad coach. He will look to exploit our high lines and shaky defense under André Schubert. He does know we conceded 50 goals in the last Bundesliga campaign. With great risks comes big consequences sometimes.
Speaking of Pep, he’s had a very good start to his reign at Manchester City, most recently winning away at arch-rivals Manchester United. What do you make of his start at City, and how far do you think he can take us in the competition?
Pep is a great manager, that’s something not to be overlooked. Winning at United is really impressive and they are on fire! He really invested well into the team signing great young talents in Leroy Sané and John Stones. Also proven players in Ilkay Gündoğan. He surely could win the league, I mean he’s done it with Munich plenty of times in the past!
How do you think André Schubert will approach Tuesday night’s game? Will he throw caution to the wind with it being the opening game? Or do you expect a more defensive-minded setup?
I expect Schubert to really rely on the counter attack. I think Gladbach understand they are facing far superior opposition on Tuesday. I believe Schubert expects his squad to capitalize on what could probably be very few chances.
Finally, your prediction for Tuesday’s game?
3-1, Manchester City gets the win. Although Pep has troubles against Mönchengladbach he will try and expose our shallow lines.
We should get one goal from a counter attack, but as I said earlier Manchester City are the far superior squad and to have their home fans behind them they will benefit greatly!