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UEFA Champions League Preview: Manchester City v Bayern Munich

Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola will renew their rivalry when Bayern Munich meet Manchester City in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League tie.

Pellegrini will be hoping for a change of fortunes when the defending champions visit the Etihad Stadium, having never beaten Guardiola as manager of Villarreal, Malaga or Real Madrid when Guardiola was in charge of Barcelona.

Both sides enjoyed comfortable 3-0 victories in their opening group D games, Bayern overcoming CSKA Moscow at home, while City got the better of Czech side Viktoria Plzen.

The two clubs were drawn in the same group two years ago, with Bayern winning 2-0 in the Allianz Arena before City triumphed by the same score on the final matchday, a result that was not enough to prevent their elimination.

The hosts also failed to progress beyond the group stage in the last campaign, but their unbeaten record at home in Europe stretches back 20 games to the 2008-09 season.

Bayern’s last fixture in England was their 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in May that sealed their fifth European triumph, while their last game there against English opposition came in last year’s second-round, first-leg 3-1 victory over Arsenal.

City, for whom Martin Demichelis (knee) remains out injured, have had a mixed start to the Premier League season, taking 10 points from six matches, and come into the game on the back of a shock 3-2 defeat away at Aston Villa at the weekend.

In contrast, Bayern have made a strong start to their Bundesliga campaign, dropping just two points from their opening seven fixtures, a run that sees them second to Dortmund on goal difference only.

Mario Gotze, signed from rivals Dortmund in the summer, has been out with an ankle injury since the Super Cup win over Chelsea in August, but was an unused substitute during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Wolfsburg, so could feature in Manchester.

Thiago Alcantara (ankle) and Javi Martinez (knee) remain long-term absentees for Munich, who are bidding to become the first side to successfully defend their title since Milan in 1990.

Mon 30 September, 2013
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