Manchester City’s pursuit of a coveted Champions League trophy continues on Wednesday as they head to RB Leipzig for the first leg of this exciting round-of-16 tie.
Pep Guardiola’s side briefly leapfrogged Arsenal at the Premier League summit following an impressive 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium last midweek, but they suffered an upset at the weekend.
Highlighted by Erling Braut Haaland’s epic miss, the Cityzens could only manage a 1-1 draw at newly-promoted Nottingham Forest despite conceding just one shot on target.
Man City’s bid to become only the second club to win three consecutive Premier League titles is alive and kicking despite that setback, with top-placed Arsenal now two points off.
However, there’s no doubt the City faithful would gladly trade another domestic success for a taste of European glory, with Leipzig being the first roadblock between City and ‘Big Ears.’
Back to the Champions League knockout stages after a year of absence, the Bundesliga heavyweights couldn’t have asked for a more formidable task to kick off springtime European fixtures.
It’s funny how Leipzig cannot avoid Premier League clubs in the Champions League knockout stage, with this marking their third last-16 tie against English sides in as many knockout appearances.
After beating Tottenham Hotspur in both legs without conceding in 2019/20, Die Roten Bullen suffered identical 2-0 defeats against Liverpool the following season.
Fresh from a 3-0 away thumping of Wolfsburg at the weekend that kept them firmly in contention for a maiden Bundesliga title, Leipzig will be seeking a repeat of last season’s 2-1 Champions League win against City at home.
However, after winning their first three knockout matches in the Champions League, the Germans have each of their last three without finding the net, conceding at least twice on every occasion.
On a more positive note, Marco Rose’s men have won their last four Champions League outings in a row en route to setting an unprecedented European record in the club’s relatively sparse continental history.
Despite failing to land the Champions League title since exiting Barcelona over a decade ago, Guardiola has mastered the competition, boasting the highest win ratio of 63% among managers to have taken charge of 50+ games.
The Spaniard’s tactical prowess, combined with Man City’s stellar run of 14 victories across their last 17 Champions League clashes against German adversaries (D2, L1), should inspire confidence at the Etihad.
Haaland will be looking to make amends for his sub-standard performance at the City Ground against familiar foes, having scored six times in four appearances against Leipzig as a Borussia Dortmund player.
RB Leipzig vs Manchester City Potential Line-ups
RB Leipzig (4-2-3-1): Janis Blaswich; Lukas Klostermann, Willi Orban, Josko Gvardiol, David Raum; Xaver Schlager, Konrad Laimer; Dominic Szoboszlai, Emil Forsberg, Timo Werner; Andre Silva.
Manchester City (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake; Rodri, Bernardo Silva; Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish; Erling Haaland.
How to Watch?
Leipzig vs Man City, alongside all other matches in Europe’s most prestigious club competition this season, is available to watch online via Champions League live streams.
And if you are interested in attending a future UCL game, see our Champions League tickets page for more information.
RB Leipzig vs Manchester City Prediction
Before a 2-1 defeat to Bundesliga surprise package Union Berlin in their last home outing, Leipzig had racked up ten victories in their 11 previous matches at the Red Bull Arena.
That fact alone would be enough to scare off many sides and given Man City’s dreadful record of three defeats from their last five travels (W1, D1), it may do the trick here.
We don’t expect Leipzig to lose here, but it’s hard to see the Cityzens going down either, so a draw emerges as a realistic outcome.
RB Leipzig 1-1 Manchester City
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