clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Champions League Match Day 5 Preview: City @ Juventus

City travel to Turin without six men as they look to secure the top spot in Group D.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Let's preface this without sparing objectivity and say that if Manchester City play like they did on Saturday that they belong nowhere near a Champions League Match. However, anyone that has watched the club over the years can only file that performance under the "Typical City" category.

The Citizens enter Wednesday's match atop Group D, a feat that was expected of them, and a feat that they look to accomplish. But, given recent form and a growing list of injuries, the goal that the club have set out to achieve will be incredibly difficult as they travel to Turin.

City will be without Vincent Kompany, Mangala, Pablo Zabaleta, David Silva, Samir Nasri and Wilfred Bony, leaving the options for Manuel Pellegrini severely limited. Meaning that City will have to be incredibly efficient if they want to secure a victory. The midfield will have to be tight and the discipline in the back will have to be incredible, Juve are a squad that start slowly and then gain momentum as the match progresses, and if City can set the tempo early, it may bode well for them. Fortunately Sergio Aguero, who missed the first game against Juve, returns after missing considerable time. Auger can flip the switch seemingly when he wants, but at this point City needs consistent play from the entire squad.

That's not to say that Juventus aren't facing their own set of problems. In their midfield, Sami Khedira and Hernanes both picked up knocks that will have them out of the matchup, and Patrice Evra will also miss time. But, knowing Juventus and Massimo Allegri, the Italian side will come out and try to control the match with physical play out of the back and disciplined tactics. Not to mention, they haven't lost at Turin Stadium in their last 11 Champions League matches (7W 4D).

City have made the knockout stage in the Champions League for the third consecutive season, however if they want top of the draw, they must execute and come out of Italy with a win. If you recall last year's campaign, an error from the manager caused the squad to take their foot off the gas and end up in the second pot and eventually facing the cup winning side in Barcelona. This is obviously a result that the club does not want to repeat, and likely want to cleanse their palette of the loss against Liverpool.