Champions League: Manchester City - Borussia Monchengladbach
Few coaches in this competition have as much Champions League experience as Pep Guardiola, in seven years as head coach, he is a perfect seven time semi finalist and two time winner. City made the semis last season and anything less this time round is likely to be seen as failure. Guardiola is not afraid to make the big decisions and Yaya Toure and Joe Hart were quickly made aware that their time had passed, John Stones, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan, Claudio Brava and Nolito were signed for a collective 200m € and the club have had a major make over. However, his biggest influence has been on the training pitch, where the work is said to have been on another level and it is easy to see that on the pitch, we are only four games in, but at times and in each, although perhaps not yet for 90 minutes, they have played football the like of which we have not seen before in the Premier League. It might seem very early to say that, but you only had to watch the opening 45 minutes of the Manchester derby on Saturday, through which they totally outclassed United, to realise how good they are, or rather, can be and this is only just the very beginning. The effect he has had on Raheem Sterling and John Stones is already apparent and tonight they will have a hungry and in form Sergio Aguero, who is serving a domestic ban, back in the line up.
BMG are two weeks behind in terms of real match fitness, a light year away with the respective squads and whilst they will have learned plenty from a group stage appearance, they will not take much confidence from the two games with City last season, both of which they lost , conceding six goals and the Manchester side look on a higher plane right now. BMG are coming off a 3-1 defeat at newly promoted Freiburg at the weekend, they went "full strength" there, with 10 of the 11 starters who faced Leverkusen on opening day and started well enough, led at the break, but fell apart late with some shambolic defending and this has the potential to get ugly tonight.
Manchester City -1.5 ball 2.11 asian line/Sportmarket
4.0 for City to score four or more, something they did here at the Etihad in this fixture last season feels too big, given the offensive firepower of the hosts and how qucikly BMG crumbled on Saturday
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