CL: Manchester City go hunting in German territory for Moenchengladbach clash

Updated: Nov 24, 2016, 10:28 IST | Agencies |

Pep Guardiola takes his side back to the European nation in search of a win against Borussia Moenchengladbach to carry the Citizens in the knockouts

Man City's Sergio Aguero revels in clashes against German clubs. His penalty earned City a 2-1 win over Borussia last year. Pic/Getty Images
Man City's Sergio Aguero revels in clashes against German clubs. His penalty earned City a 2-1 win over Borussia last year. Pic/Getty Images

Berlin: Pep Guardiola takes his Manchester City side back to Germany today, hunting a win at Borussia Moenchengladbach to put the Citizens in the last 16 of the Champions League.

City, second in Group C behind leaders Barcelona, will book their place in the knock-out phase with another victory over Gladbach having won the reverse fixture 4-0 when Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick in mid-September. The 28-year-old striker revels in clashes against German clubs.

He also scored on his last visit to Borussia Park in September 2015, converting a 90th-minute penalty to earn City a 2-1 win, and netted a hat-trick in a 3-2 victory at home to Bayern Munich in 2014. This is the first time Guardiola has returned to Germany for a competitive game since he quit Bayern Munich in May.

Momentum, City's key
Guardiola's City arrive third in the Premier League table and fresh from Saturday's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace when Yaya Toure marked his shock return with both goals. But Toure is not eligible for Europe. Guardiola rested Ilkay Gundogan against Palace and only used David Silva off the bench, a hint that both may feature at Borussia Park.

This is a case of win or bust for Gladbach's Champions League aspirations. An unlikely victory would lift Gladbach level with City on seven points before Borussia's final group match away to Barcelona on December 6. Moenchengladbach will be confirmed in third place — which means a passage into the last 16 of the Europa League — if they draw and Celtic lose at home to Barcelona, also tonight.

But Gladbach are not in good form. Their 2-1 defeat at home to Cologne on Saturday left them 13th in Germany's top flight. They have won just one of their last six home games. But Andre Schubert's side led Barcelona at Borussia Park until two second-half goals dug the Group C leaders out of trouble for a 2-1 win in September.

No Kompany for City
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is unlikely to play in today's clash. The Belgium defender suffered concussion in a collision with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in the victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday and was absent as City held an open training session before flying to Germany. Fellow midfielder Fabian Delph was involved in training as he steps up his comeback from a groin operation.

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