We have reached the meaty part of the season for Manchester City. The Manc Blues are set to play host to FC Bayern Munich in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Sky Blue News is back with all the latest to get you ready for the showdown with the Bundesliga giants.
Pep Guardiola says both City and Bayern Munich will play to win our UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg meeting – with neither distracted by the thought of the second in Germany.
We host the Bundesliga outfit at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday 11 April – with kick-off scheduled for 20:00 (UK) – before the side’s lock horns once again eight days later on 19 April.
Between the two fixtures, we face Leicester while Thomas Tuchel’s side play Hoffenheim, with the pair embroiled in respective title races in England and Germany.
Regardless, the boss is expecting to face a Bundesliga outfit looking to take an early advantage into the deciding tie at the Allianz Arena.
Pep Talk: “It’s an honour to be here against an elite club like Bayern Munich.” - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue
Pep Guardiola knows what it took to get here and in his match presser prior to the UCL clash, he spoke about such a varying set of topics.
Let’s dive straight in:
“It’s an honour to be here against an elite club like Bayern Munich.
“It’s not for granted. You have to deserve it. You have to play good and try to do [well in] the first [leg] tomorrow.
“We tried last season. We tried two seasons ago. We tried three seasons ago. Every single season. But there are teams that you face that are also good, too. They want to win it too.
“My ambition is to be here again, that’s my dream, to live it again and be here in a Champions League competition.
“We want to try like we try all the time but it doesn’t mean we win.
Pep Talk: "It’s an honour to be here against an elite club like Bayern Munich." https://t.co/EQErTiMN8a— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) April 10, 2023
Ranking Man City’s three Champions League wins vs. Bayern Munich - Juan Manuel Sierra - Man City Square
The Champions League is back this week on Tuesday, April 11 with huge quarter-final clashes. The game circled on everyone’s calendar since the draw was made was without a doubt the huge tie between champions of England Manchester City against their German equivalent, Bayern Munich.
Despite being two of the most successful clubs of the 2010s and 20s, you’d be surprised to hear that the two have only faced each other a total of six times in the Champions League and all in the group stages.
From the six games, they are evenly separated, with each team winning three times. Their match this Tuesday will be the first since the 2014/15 season, and both clubs have come leaps and bounds since.
“You’ll see on the pitch...” - Pep Guardiola and Ruben Dias pre Bayern Munich Press Conference - Colin Cranmer - City Report
‘Bayern have Sane, Mane, Gnabry, Musiala, and Davies - all very fast players, can they frighten you in this tie?’
“We have some names as well, we’ve got: Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, me, Nathan Ake, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Gomez - we’ve also got our names.”
‘A criticism of the City defence - apart from Kyle Walker - is the lack of pace there, but you would back your defence against the pace of Bayern?’
‘Why will we see?’
“You’ll see on the pitch.”
'Bayern have Sane, Mane, Gnabry, Musiala, and Davies - all very fast players, can they frighten you in this tie?'— City Report (@cityreport_) April 10, 2023
Ruben Dias: "We have some names as well, we've got: Walker, Akanji, me, Ake, Stones, Laporte, Gomez - we've also got our names."
"You'll see, on the pitch..."
How Man City lined up the last time they faced Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash - Molly Burke - Manchester World
Manchester City are preparing for what could be one of the biggest matches of their campaign as they host Bayern Munich tonight. Pep Guardiola’s side are still on the hunt for their first Champions League trophy and will be confident of finally coming out victorious with Erling Haaland in attack.
Bayern Munich have recently parted ways with Julian Nagelsmann and Man City will now take on a familiar face in Thomas Tuchel, who previously beat them in the final with Chelsea two years ago. Today’s meeting will be the seventh competitive match between the two teams, with the last coming in the Champions League group stage during the 2014/15 season.
After being narrowly beaten by the German giants in the away leg, Man City went onto beat them 3-2 a month later. The home side took the lead through a Sergio Aguero penalty, however they headed into the break behind after goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski. While it looked like Manuel Pellegrini’s side were set for another defeat, Aguero hit a quick-fire double in the last five minutes of the game and claimed all three points.
‘So sensitive!’ - Pep Guardiola mocks ‘grumpy’ Luciano Spalletti after mind games accusation from Napoli boss - Soham Mukherjee - Goal
WHAT HAPPENED? After Napoli qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 on aggregate, the Manchester City manager hailed them as “the best team in Europe”. However, Spalletti dismissed Guardiola’s praise as mind games designed to derail Napoli if the two sides meet at a later stage in the tournament.
WHAT THEY SAID: When Guardiola was once again quizzed about Napoli’s chances in the Champions League before City’s last-eight clash with Bayern Munich, the manager replied: “I don’t want to talk about Napoli because the manager will be grumpy with me. So sensitive!
“As much you play this competition, quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals with the same players, it’s easier. It’s the feeling ‘I’ve been here, and I know what to do. We’ve played just one Champions League final in our life. But both sides, the moment you start the game you have to be at your best. That will make the difference.”
Pep Guardiola doesn't want to make Napoli grumpy pic.twitter.com/fPqDYDoXTZ— GOAL (@goal) April 10, 2023
And finally... Erling was sporting a decidedly alpine look at training.
Erling Haaland shows off radical new hairstyle ahead of Bayern Munich showdown - Freddie Pye - City Xtra
Bayern Munich are an opponent Erling Haaland knows all too well, following his exploits in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and ahead of the game the sensational centre-forward has donned a sharp new look.
Appearing in the final training session ahead of Tuesday night’s clash against Thomas Tuchel’s side, the Norway international showcased a pristine set of plaits that he may look to bring into the contest at the Etihad Stadium.
The new look in the hairstyle department comes just days after Haaland’s fresh new bumper agreement with sportswear giants Nike – who will now be the 22 year-old’s boot manufacturer and predominant endorsement partner for the foreseeable future.
There you have it. Stay with Bitter and Blue throughout the day as we build toward Man City v Bayern. Follow along with @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter for all the latest news and reactions. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News. Come on City!!