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Preview: Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig

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Three weeks after a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Leipzig, it all comes down to Tuesday evening. Whether it’s after 90 minutes, extra time or penalties, whoever wins at the City of Manchester stadium will be a Champions League quarter finalist.

Both Leipzig and Man City come into the game off the back of wins in their domestic leagues. While RB defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 at home, the Cityzens won 1-0 away to Crystal Palace.

With RB Leipzig’s most recent defeat in Europe coming on 14th September, they’ll be hoping for another positive result on Tuesday. We take a closer look at the English champions.
 

Form

Pep Guardiola’s side are enjoying a good run of results. The Sky Blues may not be delivering goal festivals any more, but they have won each of their last four competitive games, with goalkeeper Ederson keeping a clean sheet in three of those fixtures.

Last time out, Erling Haaland scored a penalty to give his team all three points in a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace, an important win in the Premier League title race. City are currently in second place, five points behind leaders Arsenal.

City are particularly strong at home and have won each of their last six games at the City of Manchester stadium.
 

Team

Key players

Goalkeeper Ederson is a key component of the City build-up play. Not only is the Brazil number two a good shot stopper, he’s also a good passer of the pall and his passing range is an important element of Guardiola’s approach.

In front of him, Portugal international Rúben Dias is effective on the ground and hard to beat in the air. The 25-year-old has been a real leader of the City defence for some time and is a true all rounder.

Ilkay Gündogan often partners Kevin de Bruyne in midfield. Captain Gündogan is a midfield motor who is secure in possession and a highly intelligent player, while de Bruyne, the more attack-minded of the two, is one of the most technically-gifted players on the planet.

Erling Haaland catches the eye when looking at the City attack and is a real handful for defenders. The 1.94m-tall forward is strong in the air but is also a real speed threat. Hard to defend, the Norway international is effective with both feet and has already scored 28 goals in the Premier League this season, in addition to five goals in the Champions League.
 

Unavailable players

Unlike Marco Rose, Pep Guardiola will have a full squad to choose from on Tuesday. Centre-backs John Stones and Aymeric Laporte will be available, having returned from injury and illness respectively. The latest Leipzig team news can be found here.
 

Head coach

Pep Guardiola has been in charge of the English champions since 2016. After a successful playing career which involved eleven years at FC Barcelona between 1990 and 2001, Pep returned to the Catalan giants in 2008 to begin the start of an impressive coaching career.

Guardiola’s iconic style of play led to the coining of the term “tiki-taka” and saw the side become Spanish champions three times in a row (2009-2011) and lift the Champions League in 2009 and 2011.

After four incredibly successful years in charge of his hometown club, Guardiola took a year out of the game and lived in New York City with his family.

His next club was FC Bayern Munich in 2013. Guardiola’s Bayern won the Bundesliga in each of the three years of his reign (2014-2016), the DFB-Pokal twice (2014, 2016) as well as the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Supercup (both 2013).

Since moving to England, Guardiola has continued to add to his honours:

  • English Premier League (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)
  • FA Cup (2019)
  • League Cup (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Community Shield (2019, 2020)
     

Guardiola is a tactical genius and is famous for his meticulous preparation for every game. The 52-year-old has a clear footballing philosophy and stands for a highly attacking style of play.

Title chances

The Spanish head coach will be hoping to add yet more silverware to his collection this season, with his City side still in the running for several trophies.

In addition to the Champions League, City still have chances to win the FA Cup and will fancy their chances. They host Championship side Burnley in the quarter finals on Saturday evening. In the league, Guardiola’s side are in second place, five points behind leaders Arsenal with eleven games to go.
 

Head to head 

To date, RB Leipzig and Man City have met three times, all in the Champions League. The record is an even one, with each side having won one game and drawing the other.

The first meeting between the two sides came in September 2021 in the Champions League group stage. Christopher Nkunku scored a hat trick in Manchester but the English side came out on top in a 6-3 win. In the reverse fixture in December, goals from Dominik Szoboszlai and André Silva gave RBL a 2-1 victory.

The most recent game was the last-16 first leg three weeks ago. 

Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring in the first half, before Joško Gvardiol equalised in the second half.

 

Manchester City’s last four games

  • 11th March 2023 | Premier League, matchday 27: Crystal Palace 0–1 Manchester City
  • 4th March 2023 | Premier League, matchday 26: Manchester City 2–0 Newcastle United
  • 28th February 2023 | FA Cup, quarter final: Bristol City 0–3 Manchester City
  • 25th February 2023 | Premier League, matchday 25: AFC Bournemouth 1–4 Manchester City
     

Officials

The game will be refereed by Slavko Vinčić. The Slovenian referee will be supported by assistants Tomaž Klančnik and Andraž Kovačič and fourth official Rade Obrenovič.

Vinčić has been refereeing in the Champions League since 2016/17 and has officiated two Leipzig games in the competition. A 2-0 last-16 first leg defeat against Liverpool in Budapest in February 2021 and a 2-1 Group Stage defeat against Club Brugge in September of the same year.
 

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Preview: Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig

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