- Josep Guardiola labels Gladbach “one of the best teams in Europe”
- City unbeaten in all competitions since last season’s semi-final loss to Madrid
- Sides also met in last year’s group stage, City prevailing 2-1 away and 4-2 at home
- City have won six from six under new manager Guardiola
- Patrick Hermann ruled out despite travelling to Manchester
- Don’t forget to pick your Fantasy Football team before the deadline
Manchester City: Bravo; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva, Sané; Agüero.
Out: Fernando, Delph (both unspecified)
Doubtful: Gundoğan (knee), Kompany (thigh)
Mönchengladbach: Sommer; Elvedi, Christensen, Jantschke; Dahoud, Kramer, Wendt; Traoré, Stindl; Hazard, Raffael.
Out: Doucoure (muscle), Herrmann (adductor)
Josep Guardiola, City manager
It was a pleasure to be the coach of Barcelona and Bayern and [with] their history they are used to reaching semis and finals. Manchester City don’t have that. [Roberto] Mancini helped us achieve the first step and Manuel did a really good job to reach the semi-finals. We have big, big targets in the Champions League.
We are far to compete from the best teams in Europe. We have to improve a lot of things. We’re first in the Premier League but the way we have played until now, it will be not enough to win the Premier League so you have to improve.
Gladbach are a brave team, one of the best teams in Europe right now. They have a lot of quality. The draw was difficult for us. They beat me many times [two of the last four meetings, the other two were draws] and they are aggressive. They make the game one-on-one in the build-up and when that happens it is a fight, man to man. With the ball they are so, so intelligent.
André Schubert, Mönchengladbach coach
We want to be courageous and brave, we always go into games feeling we are up for it, and up for a victory, rather than feeling we are going to lose. It will take a lot of courage – we need to push ourselves all the way as we are up against a very strong team.
[On facing City fresh from defeat by Freiburg] They’re two different games, two different competitions; you can’t win every game. We weren’t good enough on Saturday but that has little to do with tomorrow’s game. City are favourites.
Their results speak for themselves. They have a very good chance [of winning the competition]. They are trying to soften expectations but are one of the best teams in the world, have spent a lot of money and have one of the best coaches in the world on the bench.
Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City (Ibrahimović 42; De Bruyne 15, Iheanacho 36)
Kevin De Bruyne scored one and made another as Guardiola got the better of old rival José Mourinho. City stretched their perfect Premier League start to four wins, ending United’s own 100% record. Claudio Bravo and substitute Leroy Sané made City debuts.
Freiburg 3-1 Mönchengladbach (Philipp 54 85, Petersen 88pen; Hazard 35)
Thorgan Hazard gave Gladbach a half-time lead, but things turned around after two goals from Germany Under-21 midfielder Maximilian Philipp.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)*
*This season only
Reporter’s view: Simon Hart (@UEFAcomSimonH)
Guardiola said in his press conference that City have much improving to do yet their six-game winning start to the season means expectations are sky-high. With Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva on song, City have the movement and vision to beat any opponent, and Saturday’s victory at Old Trafford was an impressive statement though there remains a question mark against their new goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, who had a shaky debut against United.
City will be expected to beat Gladbach, though Guardiola’s words of caution about the visitors were understandable given he failed to defeat them in his last four encounters as Bayern boss. Experience also informed Guardiola’s attempt to temper expectations when asked about City’s prospects of winning this trophy for the first time. He has never failed to reach the semi-finals as a manager but knows that taking the ultimate step is not easy.
Did you know?
Two-time UEFA Champions League winner Guardiola has never failed to make at least the semi-finals in seven previous seasons coaching in the competition. Read more in our extensive match background.