Manchester City FC have their backs to the wall as they host FC Bayern München in their final UEFA Champions League Group A fixture.
City slipped to third with their 2-1 defeat at SSC Napoli on 22 November and will only prolong their first UEFA Champions League campaign into the knockout stages if they beat Bayern and Napoli fail to win at Villarreal CF.
For Bayern, 2-0 home winners against City in September – the only one of their 23 matches this season in which the English club failed to score – there are no such worries given their unassailable lead at the group summit.
City can take heart from a 14-match unbeaten home record in Europe – their last reverse coming against FC Midtjylland in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round – although Bayern arrive with six wins from their last eight UEFA Champions League away games.
City last hosted German opposition in April 2009 when beating Hamburger SV 2-1 in a UEFA Cup quarter-final they lost on away goals. Of their starting lineup, only Vincent Kompany, Nedum Onuoha, Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta are in City’s UEFA Champions League squad; Jérôme Boateng and Ivica Olić featured for Hamburg. Earlier that season City beat an FC Schalke 04 side including Manuel Neuer and Rafinha 2-0 in the group stage.
City‘s first home meeting with a Bundesliga club was a 5-1 defeat of Schalke that swept them into the 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final.
Bayern‘s last visit to England ended with elimination for their Mancunian hosts as goals by Olić and Arjen Robben brought them back from 3-0 down to 3-2 against Manchester United FC in the 2009/10 quarter-finals, securing a 4-4 aggregate draw and away-goals victory.
Bayern’s most recent win in England also came at United, a 1-0 UEFA Champions League quarter-final success in April 2001. They have lost on their last three visits and their overall record away to English teams is W2 D7 L5.
Bayern lifted the European Champion Clubs’ Cup with a 2-0 final triumph against Leeds United AFC in 1975, although they lost finals to Aston Villa FC (0-1, 1982) and Manchester United (1-2, 1999).
Manchester City out! Manchester United out!
What an Europa League season we`ll have!