- Venue: Signal Iduna Park
- Date: Tuesday 4 December
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
In spite of them winning their first league title in 44 years last season, Manchester City have been eliminated from the Champions League for a second successive season and have failed to transfer their domestic successes into European competition. They have amassed just three points in the Group Stages, having registered three draws and two defeats. A win tonight though, which would be their first in Qualifying, could see them qualify for the Europa League, depending on results elsewhere.
A carrot, however small it may be then, dangling in front of Roberto Mancini and his team.
They know however that Manchester United will be waiting for them on Sunday. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have already qualified for the knock out stages of the Champions League with consummate ease, and he has the luxury of being able to rest his galaxy of stars on Wednesday for the Manchester Derby. It remains to be seen then how seriously Mancini will take this game, and that will be reflected in his team lineup. Is he that bothered about playing football in Europe’s second tier on cold Thursday nights? Many would say closing the gap on United at the top of the table at the weekend is higher on his list of priorities.
Having said that, having been placed in a Group containing three teams who were Champions of their leagues last season, finishing bottom will worsen City’s already poor Uefa ranking, meaning they will be likely to face yet another “Group of Death” next season, so it is a tough dilemma for Mancini.
Dortmund meanwhile have been absolutely excellent this season, and were desperately unlucky not to have left the Etihad with all three points in the reverse fixture. Only a last-gasp Mario Balotelli penalty thwarted them then, but they have recovered in fine form since, even beating Real Madrid earlier in the campaign. They are also the only unbeaten side in Group D, and City will face a stern task if they are to overturn them away.
Dortmund Manager Juergen Klopp:
“I am happy that we already qualified for the round of 16. We will have to see who we can send out onto the pitch. This phase is pretty tough for everyone.”
Man City Manager Roberto Mancini:
“It could be difficult in the Europa League because you play on Thursdays and don’t have much time to recover for the Premier League. But we must try to play in the Europa League and we will do our best. We have brought all the players who are available and they’ll do everything to win the game. But Borussia will be difficult because they are one of the best teams in Europe.”
Manchester City will be without winger David Silva for their final game in the Champions League this season. A hamstring injury has left the 26 year old sidelined and a serious doubt for the Mancheser Derby on Sunday.
Midfield enforcer Yaya Toure is also missing through suspension, whilst Alexander Kolarov and Gael Clichy join Silva on City’s growing injury list.
The good news is that Jack Rodwell has traveled to Germany having overcome a hamstring injury of his own.
Dortmund have a number of injury concerns, too. Captain Sebastian Kehl missed their 1-1 weekend draw with Bayern Munich with a knee problem and defender Neven Subotic was taken off during the game with a groin injury.
Sven Bender played despite lacking match fitness.
Team news courtesy of BBC Sport.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Hummels, Santana, Scmelzer, Gundogan, Leitner, Błaszczykowski, Goetze, Reus, Lewandowski
Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic, Barry, Rodwell,Sinclair, Tevez, Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero
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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012