Champions League Preview: Manchester City v RB Leipzig

By Guest writer, Tue 07 March 2023 13:36

Champions League Preview: Manchester City v RB LeipzigGet the ultimate preview of the Champions League round-of-16 match at the Etihad Stadium while you follow Manchester City v RB Leipzig match

Following their 1-1 draw in the first leg, there is still everything to play for when RB Leipzig travel to Manchester City in the Champions League.

Here, we preview what should be a fascinating round-of-16 encounter at the Etihad Stadium:

When do Man City play RB Leipzig?

Tuesday, March 14 at 8 pm UK time.

Where is the game staged?

Manchester City’s home ground, the Etihad Stadium

Where can I watch Man City v RB Leipzig?

BT Sport will broadcast both legs live or you can tune into the action on BBC Radio 5 live.

Alternative coverage of the game can be found on the Champions League’s official website

How did the first leg go?

The match ended all-square, but this was a textbook game of two halves. The visitors flew out of the traps at the Red Bull Arena and scored the opening goal their early endeavours warranted after 27 minutes.

Xaver Schlager made a horrible error in a dangerous area from which Ilkay Gundogan seized possession before neatly threading the ball through to Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez made no mistake with a thumping finish that gave goalkeeper Janis Blaswich no chance. It was the Algeria international’s 12th goal in his last 20 games.

Enthusiastic Leipzig supporters unfurled a banner before kick-off that read, ‘We’re on the way to Istanbul’. But it was noticeable by the break that this was no longer visible, such was City’s dominance.

It was, however, an entirely different story after the restart as the hosts were inspired, organised and threatening on the counter-attack. Whatever manager Marco Rose said at the interval clearly had the desired effect as Leipzig deservedly equalised after 70 minutes through Josko Gvardiol.

The Croatia international headed home a well-worked short corner – Marcel Halstenberg sending over the final cross – after 70 minutes, with Leipzig having earlier spurned two good chances that fell to Benjamin Henrichs.

Leipzig supporters fancied an upset but they were left grateful to Blaswich, who denied Gundogan with a sharp stop moments after Gvardiol had equalised.

City also had a decent shout for a penalty waved away when Henrichs appeared to have handled the ball inside the area, but Leipzig deserved a draw in what was a fascinating game.

How have Man City and Leipzig been playing since then?

City have been in good form in both the league and Cup competitions. A 4-1 demolition of Bournemouth was then supplemented by a similarly facile 3-0 success at Bristol City in the FA Cup.

Pep Guardiola’s men were not at their best against Newcastle on their next start, as the visitors wasted several good chances to gain a foothold into the game. But their class shone through when it mattered as goals from in-form Phil Foden (16) and Bernardo Silva (67) earned City a 2-0 victory.

Leipzig have played just twice since the first leg and looked especially impressive at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, with first-half goals from Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg earning Rose’s men a hard-earned 2-1 victory.

They then travelled to the mighty Borussia Dortmund and were always chasing the game after the hosts charged into a 2-0 lead at the break. Forsberg set up a grandstand finish with a smart goal in the 74th minute but Dortmund held on against spirited opponents.

What is the head-to-record between Man City and Leipzig?

The two sides have only played one another three times in Europe, but there has been no shortage of incidents.

Their first-ever meeting was in a Champions League group A game back in September 2021. A frankly bonkers game of football at the Etihad finished 6-3 to Man City – even though Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick for Leipzig.

The return game at the Red Bull Arena was no less compelling as Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva put the home side in control at the break. Riyad Mahrez reduced the deficit after 76 minutes, but City – who had Kyle Walker sent off late on – could not find another goal and lost 2-1.

What are the betting odds for the Man City v Leipzig game?

City are 3/7 to win on the night, with Leipzig chalked up at odds of 61/10. Odds of 21/5 are available about the game finishing all-square in normal time.

A 2-0 Man City is popular in the correct-score market, with punters keen to take the 6/1 odds that are on offer.
* Odds credits to VBET UK 

What do the managers say?

Pep Guardiola, Man City boss:

“I had the feeling that the tie would be decided in the second leg. It’s 180 minutes and I didn’t want to lose 4-0 or 4-3 here.

“I put all this in perspective and I am so delighted for the game we played. It’s the Champions League, such a demanding competition.

“Hopefully, we'll go into the game in a good condition. We can do better [than we did in Leipzig]. We have to adjust some things and find a way to go through.”

Marco Rose, Leipzig coach:

“We were not in Champions League mode in the first half. Too little accuracy, too little activity, we lost too many first and second balls.

“It was a completely bad first half. The second half was very good. We are still there, we are still in the tie, and there are lots of things to take out of the game.

“We're a completely different team when we make runs and can change the game when we have the ball. The stakes are high in Manchester and we'll take the draw in our stride. We want to go there and do a lot of things right.”

Man City v Leipzig – the Verdict:

City should win on the night, but do not expect them to have it all their own way against a Leipzig team that have won many new friends this season.

Marco Rose’s side are a joy to watch when at their free-flowing best, though the anticipation is that we will not see much of that at the Etihad if City play as they normally do at home.

Be that as it may, Leipzig are a potent force in the final third of the field and unquestionably have goals within their side – as evidenced by their thrilling second-half performance in the first leg.

To that end, the play here might be to back the game to finish 2-1 to Man City at enticing odds of 8/1. And if Leipzig, as a few weeks ago, again finish strongly, punters might see the logic behind backing them to score last in the game at 13/5.


*Odds subject to change and were correct at the time of publication 
( 07.03.2023 )

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