3rd December 2012
Borussia Dortmund may have secured the first place in the group of death, but that doesn’t mean the reigning Bundesliga champions won’t try and extend their unbeaten run to 12 matches. All that’s left for Manchester City is to battle for a Europa League spot, but the problem is the Citizens can only pip Ajax if they win at Signal-Iduna Park.
Having won back to back league titles, Borussia Dortmund were always going to experience problems on domestic stage against heavily reinforced Bayern Munich, and BVB already appear to be out of the title race, given they trail the Bavarians by 11 points. However, team’s Champions League campaign has been a huge success so far, with Jurgen Klopp’s side beating Real Madrid and Manchester City to the first place in Group D. After doing so well in Europe’s elite competition, Borussia will be very motivated to end the group stage on a high, despite the fact they would remain in the first place even if they lose to City. The Millionaires held Bayern to a 1-1 draw at Alianz Arena at the weekend, and a good showing against the Bavarians should keep them in good stead for the Manchester City clash. Neven Subotic and Sven Bender are both injury worries and are unlikely to be risked, while captain Sebastian Kehl continues to miss out.
After their previous European campaign finished in group stage, Manchester City had been keen on doing well in this year’s Champions League, but they utterly failed to prove they deserve to be playing at this level. Despite being placed in what is a very difficult group, City’s 0-3-2 record is a huge disappointment, so no wonder they now face an uphill struggle in their attempt to at least secure Europa League football. Given that the Citizens can only finish third if they defeat Borussia and that Roberto Mancini is not too keen on his team playing Europa League football, Manchester City are unlikely to give their best at Signal-Iduna Park. With the local derby against United scheduled for Sunday, the Italian manager was thinking about resting some of his starters, but numerous selection worries have severely limited his options. Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, James Milner, Jack Rodwell, Micah Richards and Toure brothers all miss out.
Never mind the fact that City need three points to finish in third place, I honestly believe Borussia Dortmund will have bigger motivation to win this match. Taking also into account City’s selection problems and their shocking displays in Europe, I have to recommend backing Borussia here.
Verdict: Home win Borussia Dortmund (1)
Best Odds: 11/10