After securing a place in the FA Cup semifinal against Arsenal, Manchester City will look to be one of the eight teams that will play in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals next month. To do so, the Citizens need to protect a 5-3 first leg lead when they visit AS Monaco at the Principality for what a promises to be an explosive second leg.
The first match at the Etihad was simply absurd, with both teams attacking each other for the entire 90 minutes. The visitors had a chance to pick up a major away win, but City produced a magical comeback in the second half, scoring four goals in the period and confirming the victory. Monaco did score three away goals, though, which gives them a big chance of turning the tie around.
Barcelona did the impossible against PSG last week, so we shouldn't be shocked by anything that happens when Monaco and City clash. The Sky Blues are favorites, and Pep Guardiola is a Champions League master, but the best attack in Europe can beat City at home and go forward.
We have no idea who's winning, but we do know that this won't be boring at all. It will be fun, full of goals and fireworks. Hopefully it ends with City celebrating again.
MATCH INFO, HOW TO WATCH ON TV/ONLINE
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 8:45pm local time (CET), 7:45pm BST (UK), 3:45pm ET, 12:45pm PT (USA), 1:15am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Stade Louis II, Monaco, France
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Television: BT Sport 2 (UK), Fox Sports 1 (USA), SuperSport 3 (Africa), TEN 1, TEN 2 (India), TSN3, TSN4 (Canada), elsewhere
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
Once again, only Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus miss out due to injury. It's amazing how healthy the City squad has looked since 2017 arrived, which has given Guardiola the chance to rotate his team and have his most important stars ready for the big games, while still picking up results and good form. City haven't lost in 10 games, and arrive for this second leg with a fully fit team ready to score goals again.
We do know that Willy Caballero, John Stones, Yaya Touré, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané and Sergio Agüero will be starting. These eight have been the stars of City's recent unbeaten streak, and they'll definitely be part of the side that faces Monaco.
The other three positions (right-back, center-back, left-back) could be filled by a multitude of players, including Bacary Sagna, Aleksandar Kolarov, Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho. Most likely three of those four will complete the team, so expect a very similar team to the one that won the first leg.
Monaco: Subasic; Sidibé, Raggi, Jemerson, Mendy; Bernardo, Fabinho, Bakayoko, Lemar; Mbappé, Germain
ManCity: Caballero; Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy; De Bruyne, Touré, Silva; Sterling, Agüero, Sané
We'll suffer, but a 2-2 draw is good enough to get us through. Quarterfinals, here we come!