Monchengladbach can prevent Manchester City from securing top spot in Group D.
Few would have thought when the draw for the group stages was made that Man City would be the only English side guaranteed qualification going into the final game, but that’s how things stand. However, qualifying in second place has been the scourge of City in recent time as they’ve met Barcelona in the Last 16 in the last two seasons so they’ll be hoping to clinch top spot, though they have to win here and need bottom of the group Sevilla also to win at home to Juventus for that to happen.
City have lost to Juventus twice in this qualification campaign but won their three other games in what have tended to be entertaining affairs as they’re yet to keep a clean sheet in this competition. Their home record in the Champions League since 2013/14 is W4-D1-L5 with both teams scoring in nine of these games and eight seeing at least three goals as they’ve lacked defence stability in Europe but continued to find the net. We have Monchengladbach ranked as the 24th best side in Europe and City’s home Champions League record against sides ranked outside the top-10 since 2011/12 is W3-D4-L1, with both teams scoring in all of these games and three seeing at least four goals.
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After losing their first two games in Group D at Sevilla and at home to City, Gladbach have since drawn both games against Juventus and beaten Sevilla at home. This improvement has coincided in an upturn in their league form that has seen them climb from 18th after losing their first five games up to third as they’ve since gone unbeaten and were impressive 3-1 winners at home to Bayern on the weekend. The manner of Gladbach’s victories have also been impressive as seven of their eight league wins were by more than one goal and they’ve also scored at least three times in five of their last seven matches.
City are in a similar position to Wolfsburg in that they’re at home and have nine points heading into their final group game, and sides in that scenario have a W9-D3-L1 record since 2006/07. They do have some injury concerns ahead of this game though, with Kompany and Toure both out and Aguero unlikely to be fit. Without that trio through the spine of their team at Stoke, City looked a much lesser side and with Monchengladbach in excellent form whilst City and the rest of the English clubs have yet to convince entirely this season in Europe, we’re siding with the Germans as they look to secure a Europa League spot.
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