The focus for RB Leipzig is on third place and securing their place in the Europa League as they head into Matchday 6 of the Champions League group stage. Taking on Manchester City, the Red Bulls must equal or better Club Brugge’s result, who kick off at the same time against Paris Saint-Germain. No mean feat, as the Citizens are currently in hot form.
While the team is studded with top players, the start of the show is arguably head coach Pep Guardiola. His highly demanding tactical style of play makes the Spaniard one of the most iconic coaches in the game.
Guardiola, who is in charge of his third club in Manchester City after spells at FC Barcelona (2008 –2012) and FC Bayern Munich (2013 – 2016), has a glistening trophy collection. The 50-year-old has led each of his teams to three league titles in Spain, Germany and England respectively, in addition to a total of five domestic cups, Super Cup wins and three FIFA Club World Cup trophies, not to mention lifting the Champions League twice. Guardiola’s last UCL win was ten years ago with Barcelona and his wait for a third goes on.
With a squad full of superstars, it's difficult to know where to start. With winger Raheem Sterling, for example, who at 27 has already scored almost 100 Premier League goals? Or £100m signing Jack Grealish, who impressed for England at the European Championships? Or homegrown talent Phil Foden, who already has 30 Champions League games to his name at just 21 years of age? Or the consistent Ilkay Gündogan, stand-in captain and leader? And one can never write off the incredible Kevin de Bruyne, who has so far had a season disrupted by injuries and Coronavirus infection.
It goes without saying that the English champions pose a clear goal threat. Midfielder Bernardo Silva has been the most dangerous in the league so far with seven goals, while Algerian Riyad Mahrez has found the back of the net four times in five Champions League games. Across all competitions, however, Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus leads the way for goal involvements with five goals and eight assists. At the other end of the pitch, Guardiola’s side are just as impressive with stars such as Ederson in goal and Rúben Dias at the heart of defence.
Manchester City are currently part of an exciting three way battle at the top of the English Premier League alongside Chelsea and Liverpool, with City knocking the Blues off top spot last weekend. Pep Guardiola's team have won each of their past six league games and have seen off rivals such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Guardiola’s side beat Watford 3-1 on Saturday.
In the Champions League, Manchester City are four points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and have already secured first place in the group. Therefore, one may expected a more rotated site come Tuesday. The reverse fixture on Matchday 1 is still fresh in the memory, when the Red Bulls were defeated 6-3 in Manchester in a wild encounter. The goal fest was the first meeting between the two sides.
Manchester City's past five fixtures:
- 21/11/2021 Manchester City 3-0 FC Everton (Premier League)
- 24/11/2021 Manchester City 2-1 Paris St. Germain (Champions League)
- 28/11/2021 Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United (Premier League)
- 01/12/2021 Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City (Premier League)
- 04/12/2021 FC Watford 1–3 Manchester City (Premier League)
The seven-time English champions have only one European success to their name, beating Gornik Zabrze in 1970 to lift the Cup Winners' Cup.
This season’s campaign is Manchester City’s eleventh consecutive season competing in the Champions League. Guardiola’s side have been among the final eight clubs in each of the past four years. After losing in the quarter finals in 2018, 2019 and 2020, they were defeated 1-0 by league rivals Chelsea in last year’s final.