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Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Borussia Monchengladbach take on Manchester City at Puskas Arena on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 knockout tie.

It is the first time that Gladbach have competed in the knockout stages of the Champions League, although they did reach the final of the old European Cup in 1977, while Man City are looking to win the competition for the first time in the club's history.

Match preview

Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose pictured on February 20, 2021© Reuters

After a promising start to the season, the wind has been taken from the sails of Gladbach's campaign in recent weeks, with poor results exacerbated by the confirmation that their manager Marco Rose will depart the club for Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

Indeed, Saturday's dismal 2-1 defeat at home to Mainz 05 leaves Gladbach languishing eighth in the Bundesliga and nine points adrift of the Champions League qualification positions.

Given the current form of Man City, then, Gladbach fans may wish to savour every moment of the 180 minutes against Pep Guardiola's side, as it could be the last time they see their great club in Europe's elite competition for at least a couple of seasons.

Die Fohlen still possess considerable quality within their ranks to potentially make life difficult for the English champions elect, though, with Alassane Plea particularly enjoying himself in the Champions League this season, having scored five goals in the group stages as Rose's side impressively finished second ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan to progress.

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring their third goal on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Man City's 1-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday extended their winning run to an astonishing 18 consecutive matches in all competitions, with Raheem Sterling's second-minute header proving enough to keep Mikel Arteta's side at arm's length.

Ominously for the rest of England and Europe, Guardiola's side rarely look like conceding at present, having kept eight clean sheets in their last 10 Premier League games. They only conceded once in six games along the way to comfortably topping Group C, too.

When you combine a formidable defensive record like that with the raft of attacking options Guardiola has at his disposal, it is perfectly understandable why many people believe this could be the year Man City go on to win the Champions League for the first time.

However, that same assumption has been made several times in recent seasons, with the Citizens falling short for differing reasons on each occasion. In truth, they should have few issues against Gladbach, but it remains to be seen how they will fare against a club operating at a similarly elite level to themselves later in the competition.

Borussia Monchengladbach Champions League form: DDWWLL
Borussia Monchengladbach form (all competitions): WDWLDL

Manchester City Champions League form: WWWWDW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Team News

Manchester City defender Nathan Ake pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Gladbach appear to have no injury or suspension concerns to contend with ahead of the trip to Budapest, leaving Rose with plenty of selection issues to ponder.

Breel Embolo could start in attack to pose a threat in behind Man City's defence, with Denis Zakaria also likely to come into the starting XI to bolster the midfield.

Man City, meanwhile, remain without the injured Nathan Ake, but have the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne available again.

Rodri and Phil Foden were rested against Arsenal so are likely to return to Guardiola's starting XI, with Kyle Walker an option to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Borussia Monchengladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Kramer, Neuhaus, Zakaria; Plea, Embolo, Hofmann

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Silva, Gundogan; Foden, De Bruyne, Sterling

SM words green background

We say: Borussia Monchengladbach 0-2 Manchester City

Given the lack of home advantage for Gladbach and the contrasting form between the two sides, we can envisage a comfortable win for Man City.

It is tough to see Rose's side even scoring past Man City, let alone gaining a positive result to realistically keep themselves in the tie.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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