A big test for Pep Guardiola awaits in the Champions League, as Manchester City face Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the quarterfinals.
Manchester City will return to Champions League action as they host Borussia Dortmund in a crunch fixture on Tuesday. The Sky Blues have bowed out of the quarterfinals of the European Cup in the past three seasons and will look to do better this time around.
Last time, Manchester City were in Champions League action, they breezed past Borussia Mönchengladbach in the last 16, defeating the German side, 4-0, over the course of two legs. Pep Guardiola rested a few key members during the weekend trip to the King Power Stadium, with the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling and John Stones, all starting from the bench.
Nevertheless, it was a comfortable victory for the league leaders as they secured a 2-0 victory over the Foxes. There will be a few changes expected for the Champions League clash on Tuesday. Ederson, who kept a clean sheet over the weekend, is expected to start between the sticks. John Stones will return to starting lineup and will partner Ruben Dias at the centre-back position. This means that Aymeric Laporte will drop to the bench, despite a strong performance a couple of days ago.
Joao Cancelo will replace Kyle Walker at right-back, whereas, Benjamin Mendy will keep his place in the eleven. The French defender scored the opener against Leicester City and played a vital role in helping his side keep another clean sheet. Rodri, who has been one of the standout players for the Sky Blues this season, will replace Fernandinho. The Spaniard has done an impeccable job, operating as the centre-defensive midfielder, giving the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Gundogan enough freedom to drive forward.
Ilkay Gundogan was on the bench for the Premier League clash against Brendan Rodgers’s side, but is expected to partner De Bruyne in midfield on Tuesday. The duo were on the scoresheet against Gladbach in the second leg of the last 16 clash.
Raheem Sterling has only started one of the past five games in all competitions, and there seems to be some sort of ambiguity regarding his situation at the club. However, the Englishman was on the bench against the Foxes, which was a clear indication that he would start against Dortmund.
Riyad Mahrez will hold his place in the side and will operate from the right-wing. It will be interesting to see whether Pep Guardiola decides to go in with a false-nine. The Spanish manager has often used this tactic in crunch fixtures and is expected that he will continue to do the same against the Black and Yellow. The German side can be vulnerable at the back, and as a result, Bernardo Silva can operate as the false-nine to exploit a few gaps in the defence.