Manuel Pellegrini has a poor record against Pep Guardiola. Image courtesy of Daniel Tejedor/AP
Just a couple of years back Pep Guardiola and Manuel Pellegrini were facing off in El Clasico as managers of Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively. Now the Spaniard and Chilean meet again with the pair now in charge of Bayern Munich and Manchester City . Throughout a long career in La Liga, Pellegrini never managed to beat Guardiola during his four-year reign as Barca boss.
Just a couple of years back, too, Bayern and City were in the same UEFA Champions League group. The Germans topped the group beating the Citizens 2-0 at Allianz Arena but the result was reversed in Manchester. City again couldn’t make it out of the group stage last season while the Munich outfit went on to take the trophy in the final against Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.
City got off to a much better start this campaign beating Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen 2-0 while Bayern started its title defence well with a 3-0 home triumph over CSKA Moscow. Despite the Sky Blues’ poor record in the Champions League in recent seasons, they haven’t lost at home in a European competition since 2008-09, a run of 20 straight games.
Apart from last season’s final, Bayern was successful last start against a Premier League team on English soil beating Arsenal 3-1 in the second round of last year’s competition. Young midfielder Mario Gotze, who transferred from Dortmund in the off-season, has been out with an ankle injury but could feature on Thursday morning (AEST) after he was an unused substitute in the 1-0 win over Wolfsburg at the weekend. Thiago Alcantara (ankle) and Javi Martinez (knee) are both out long-term.
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