Three points are paramount for Manchester City if they are to retain their frail, frail hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages…so they’ll consider themselves very fortunate they’re only playing Bayern Munchen.
The 2012/13 winners of the competition have won all four of their Group E games to date to nail down top spot in their pre-Christmas mini league, scoring 11 times while allowing just one goal in at the other end.
Pep Guardiola’s imperious Bavarians are 21/20 to put Manchester City out of their misery with three points, while the Citizens’ are rated at 5/2 to snare three imperative points, a feat they haven’t yet achieved in their four outings to date.
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With top spot in the bag, complacency may be a factor, but the reality is that Bayern’s pre-match price is one that can’t be ignored given their fantastic form in England.
Firstly, the crowning moment of their Champions League triumph came at Wembley Stadium, where they won 2-1 against Bundesliga foes Borussia Dortmund.
FCB’s recent record against Premier League foes on their own patch is particularly laudable too; they’ve won three from four when playing away against English teams.
Arsenal were swept under the wheels at the last-16 stage of the previous two instalments against the German champions, while Man City also succumbed to their charms in last term’s group stage.
The other result in this sequence was a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford at the quarter-final stage of the previous campaign.
It’s not just Bayern who fare well in England – all German teams tend to do the business in Blighty.
Since 2012, Premier League clubs have won just two home games against Bundesliga counterparts, drawing three and losing five, keeping just one clean sheet in the process.
Man City’s laundry is frequently sullied in this competition, which is by and large the reason behind their current plight.
They haven’t shut out a continental opponent in 11 attempts and Bayern have only failed to win one match all season in which they’ve found the net.