UEFA Champions League QFs: Man. City tries to break the QF curse against Haaland

New Delhi: UEFA Champions League is back for the Quarter Finals and Premier League leaders are set to face German giants Dortmund in this dangerous stage. Dangerous because Manchester City has failed to go past the QF stage under Pep Guardiola and have exited the competition after reaching QFs for three years in a row. And this year they will try to break their curse against the team with the competition’s top scorer Erling Braut Haaland.

Preview

(Dortmund Coach Edin Terzic)

Borussia Dortmund have reached the Quarter Final stage for the first time since 2016/17. They faced a shocking defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, which has made a top four finish very difficult. And unfortunately they are facing a team who have won 26 of their last 27 games. Also, their star player Jadon Sancho is not availabe for this clash against his former club.

Manchester City will enter the game with high hopes as they are in tremendous shape. They are the champions-elect of Premier League this season as they are sitting with a comfortable lead of 14 points from second place Man. United. City have just one big problem to face on Tuesday night in the shape of Haaland, who is the leading goal scorer of UCL this season.

City coach Guardiola also admitted just how amazing Haaland is, he said in an interview, “He’s fantastic, everyone knows it. A blind guy can realise he’s fantastic, it’s not necessary to be a manager to realise it.”

And about his plan to stop Haaland, Pep said, “The strikers who score goals are going to score more goals when they are in our box. When they have more minutes as far as away from our box, they have less chances. Not just Haaland – Vardy, Salah, Gabriel [Jesus], Aguero – all the strikers around the world they want to be there as much as possible. So the best way is avoid them being there as much as possible.”

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Borussia Dortmund

Expected playing XIs

Manchester City:  Ederson, Walker, Stones, Rúben Dias, Cancelo, Rodri, Gündoğan, Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Foden, De Bruyne

Dortmund: Hitz, Can, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro, Delaney, Bellingham, Dahoud, Hazard, Reus, Haaland

Injury News:

Manchester City: Pep has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Dortmund: Jadon Sancho is ruled out for atleast the first leg due to thigh injury. Dan-Axel Zagadou and Axel Witsel are also injured. And risky news is Haaland is just one card away from suspension but he will start regardless.

When and where to watch

Date: 7th April, 2021

Time: 12:30 AM

TV: Sony Six channel

Stream: SonyLiv

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