UEFA Champions League quarterfinals’ key match set to kick off
In the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, a blockbuster match takes place as Manchester City hosts Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium. Seen as an early preview of the Champions League final, this clash between two European giants is an intense battle. Both teams possess the talent to win the competition, and although Manchester City’s Champions League record has been criticized in the past, they now have the continent’s top attacking weapon in Erling Haaland. Pep Guardiola has the opportunity to prove his coaching prowess and showcase his team’s strength, while Bayern boasts extensive experience in the knockout stages of the tournament. It is difficult to predict the outcome of this highly anticipated match.
Comparing the total market values of both teams, Manchester City’s squad is worth an impressive €10.5 billion, ranking first in the global club value list, while Bayern Munich closely follows with a value of €10.2 billion. Manchester City boasts world-class stars such as Haaland, De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva, while Bayern Munich features top players like Sané, Mané, and Goretzka. On paper, this is a truly evenly matched contest.
However, looking at recent form, Manchester City has won 8 consecutive games in all competitions, often with large margins of victory, demonstrating a terrifying offensive efficiency. Bayern Munich recently went through a coaching change during the international break, and they were subsequently eliminated from the German Cup by Freiburg before narrowly defeating them in a Bundesliga match. In their last four competitive matches, Bayern has been somewhat inconsistent with 2 wins and 2 losses. Over the past 10 years, Manchester City and Bayern Munich have faced off 6 times in the Champions League, with each team winning 3 times, making it difficult to separate the two sides.
How will Guardiola perform against his former team in the Champions League quarterfinals?
One of the highlights of this Champions League showdown is Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, who previously coached Bayern Munich for several seasons. Players such as Muller and Kimmich in Bayern’s squad were once Guardiola’s disciples, so he knows the team inside out. Another major focus is City’s home advantage at the Etihad Stadium and their ability to utilize Haaland, who has contributed 42 goals this season, to break through Bayern’s defense. After all, City has won all of their last 10 home Champions League matches against German teams, scoring 39 goals and conceding only 10. These 10 home matches include 4 knockout games, so City is quite confident when facing German teams on their home turf.
Speaking of Haaland, the talented forward has scored 5 goals in his 7 previous encounters with Bayern. However, all 7 of those matches, played for Borussia Dortmund, ultimately ended in defeat, making Bayern the only club Haaland has faced at least twice without a win. In previous head-to-head battles between the two managers, newly appointed Bayern coach Tuchel has a record of 3 wins, 1 draw, and 6 losses against Guardiola, scoring 3 goals and conceding 17. Therefore, facing Guardiola, who has a 54% win rate in the Champions League knockout stages, will be a strong challenge for Tuchel.
Haaland vs. Muller showdown
On the Bayern side, forward Thomas Muller has already achieved 99 Champions League victories in his career. If Bayern manages to defeat Manchester City in the first leg of the quarter-finals, it will be Muller’s 100th Champions League victory, making him the third player in history to achieve 100 wins (preceded by Cristiano Ronaldo with 115 wins and Iker Casillas with 101 wins).
Furthermore, he would become the first player to reach this milestone while representing a single club. Coincidentally, ahead of the Champions League match, both Manchester City’s second-highest scorer Phil Foden and Bayern’s second-highest scorer Joshua Kimmich are missing this crucial game due to injuries. Additionally, Bayern is missing defender Lucas Hernandez, midfielder Corentin Tolisso, and forward Kingsley Coman.
Betting Company Odds
BA88 has released the odds for this match: Manchester City to win at 1.62, a draw at 3.70, and Bayern to win at 4.00. In terms of score odds, Manchester City winning 2-1 has the lowest odds at 7.00, followed closely by a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 victory for Manchester City at 8.00 and 8.50, respectively. Bayern winning 2-1 and 1-0 away are at 12.00 and 17.00, respectively.
In the half-time/full-time betting market, a win-win has odds of 1 at 2.70, a draw-win at 1 at 4.95, and a draw-draw and a loss-loss both at 7.00. Based on the data, Manchester City undoubtedly holds the advantage in popularity. Will Guardiola, facing Bayern in the Champions League knockout stage, take the opportunity to advance by defeating his former club, or will it add to his woes? Let’s wait and see.