EUROPE: Champions League
Time: 6:45 PM
Venue: Red Bull Arena (Leipzig)
RB Leipzig appear to be a club up a creek without a paddle, and three straight Bundesliga defeats proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of manager Jesse Marsch’s reign in charge. His recent dismissal came despite overseeing the joint biggest margin of victory in this season’s UEFA Champions League (UCL), a 5-0 victory over Club Brugge on matchday five.
The hosts now hold the head-to-head advantage against the Belgian side who also sit on four points going into this matchday, therefore Leipzig know that progression into the Europa League will be guaranteed should they match or better Brugge’s result against Paris Saint-Germain. But after losing three successive European games against English clubs, a positive result here is by no means guaranteed.
With a place in the last 16 and top spot in Group A secured after beating PSG on matchday five, trophy favourites Manchester City can afford to take the foot off the pedal here. However, they do have a proud record of no defeat in 14 UCL games (W13, D1) against German sides to protect, impressively scoring 2+ goals in each of the last nine of those matches.
Beyond seeing this clash as an opportunity to seal an eighth straight competitive win, boss Pep Guardiola will also be keen to see his side secure a clean sheet, something Man City have gone without in each of their last six UCL matches, as well as their previous four across all competitions. Although the three games following their last UCL match did at least see City net an impressive five goals before half-time.
Players to watch: Leipzig’s André Silva has scored two goals before the 30th minute across his last three UCL matches. Meanwhile, City’s Bernardo Silva is one of Europe’s most in-form players, registering six goal contributions (G5, A1) across his last six club appearances.
RB Leipzig’s form in last 5 matches: LLWLW.
Manchester City’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWW.
PREDICTION: Draw/Away and Over 1.5