MX23RW : Monday, January 21 12:32:01

Preview: Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich

Sports Mole previews Wednesday night's Champions League encounter between Manchester City and Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium.

Many believe that Manchester City's current Champions League group is more favourable than the previous two that they were dealt, but this one has still paired them with last season's winners Bayern Munich.

The German giants, who City play host to on Wednesday night, were arguably the best side in Pot One, having defeated Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund in May's final at Wembley.

It was probably not the draw that City's new manager Manuel Pellegrini wanted either. He has come up against Bayern coach Pep Guardiola eight times with Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, but was never able to get the better of the 42-year-old's Barcelona side.

On the pitch, Pellegrini has a near fully fit squad to select from, with defender Martin Demichelis the only confirmed absentee. Sergio Aguero missed the weekend's defeat at Aston Villa, but he is expected to return for the European clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, visiting Bayern will be without Spanish midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez, as well as defender Holger Badstuber, who has a knee ligament injury.

Mario Gotze has not featured for Guardiola's side since the UEFA Super Cup last month in Prague because of an ankle injury, but reports have claimed that he will be included in the squad on Wednesday.

Bayern last travelled to Manchester in 2011 and were 2-0 losers, but they had already qualified for the knockout stages, while City were forced to settle for third place.

Recent form

Man City: DWWWWL

Bayern: DWWWWW

Possible starting lineups

Man City: Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Nastasic, Zabaleta; Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, Nasri; Negredo, Aguero

Bayern: Neuer; Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Rafinha; Lahm; Ribery, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Robben; Mandzukic

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm in action on April 10, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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