Thursday, March 23, 2017

Borussia Monchengladbach v Manchester City: Xhaka hoping to capitalise on complacency

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Sep 2015

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Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka believes the complacency of a wounded Manchester City side could have an impact on their Champions League clash on Wednesday.

Gladbach welcome City to Borussia-Park with both sides aiming to get off the mark in Group D following defeats against Sevilla and Juventus respectively.

City’s 2-1 home loss to Juve began a run of three defeats in their last four games in all competitions, with a 4-1 League Cup victory at Sunderland serving as their only bright spot in that streak.

Gladbach saw coach Lucien Favre resign following a 1-0 reverse at Cologne that marked their sixth consecutive defeat, but have since claimed back-to-back Bundesliga victories over Augsburg and Stuttgart under interim boss Andre Schubert, scoring seven goals in the process.

Despite Gladbach’s form, City are still likely to be the favourites to claim all three points, but Switzerland midfielder Xhaka feels overconfidence could cost the visitors.

“Let’s face reality: there is a lot of money in that team and it’s full of superstars, and to me they are the favourites to win the Champions League,” Xhaka told Kicker.

“They also had a bad start and they have to take the points back home

“We should just relish the match against an outstanding team, but we shall not fear Man City. We need to be bold, attack high, and pressure the opponent. Maybe they underestimate us and believe they can beat us at 80 or 90 per cent.

“To be honest, I don’t even know whether at Manchester City they know Borussia Monchengladbach or the players that well.”

Martin Stranzl is still on the sidelines for Gladbach with a fractured eye socket, while fellow defender Tony Jantschke is a doubt because of a thigh injury.

City have a number of injury concerns heading into the match. Captain Vincent Kompany fell ill prior to the 4-1 defeat at Tottenham in which Yaya Toure tweaked his hamstring and goalkeeper Joe Hart sat out with a back issue.

David Silva is a doubt with a calf complaint while Fabian Delph (hamstring) and Gael Clichy (ankle) are out.

Wilfried Bony has missed the last two games with a knock and, should he miss out again, will likely be joined on the sidelines by Eliaquim Mangala, who is hopeful over City’s prospects of qualification for the last 16.

Mangala said: “We still have games left to qualify, so we shouldn’t sound the alarm yet, we just have to show that Juventus was an off day, and keep on working on what we do well and get rid of what didn’t go too well.

“We are still confident, and we will stay with the same dynamic we’ve had since the start of the season and we will even get stronger.”

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