Manchester City take a commanding three-goal lead into tonight’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Bayern Munich, and the English treble chasers will expect to book their passage to the competition’s last four with room to spare in Germany.
Pep Guardiola masterminded a superb 3-0 victory over his old employers in Manchester last week, a result that added conviction to the growing belief that 2023 will be the year that the Cityzens finally conquer the continent.
Below, you can dissect my stats pack for the game which is laden with all the info you need to squeeze a series of smart selections onto your bet builder coupons. Use the data in conjunction with my Stats Pack Guide for even better results.
Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernandez remain long-term absentees for Bayern Munich, though striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting did return to training this week and is in contention to start this evening. It remains to be seen if Sadio Mane will feature after his bust-up with Leroy Sane.
Head Coach Thomas Tuchel will be determined to conjure up a more effective gameplan today following last week’s first-leg collapse. However, he could start with the same personnel at the Allianz Arena later on. If Choupo-Moting isn’t fit to start, Serge Gnabry could spearhead the attack again.
The treatment room at Man City is virtually deserted following Phil Foden’s early return to the fold this week. Ilkay Gundogan and Nathan Ake were rested against Leicester at the weekend and both should come back into the XI today.
John Stones, Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri and Erling Haaland were all withdrawn early against the Foxes on Saturday and that quartet should be well-rested and fresh for this evening’s challenge in Bavaria. Stones should reprise his hybrid midfield role alongside Rodri.
Bayern Munich’s stats make for impressive reading across the board, especially in attack, where they have been clocking 2.79 goals, 2.17 in xG and 18.64 shots per 90 – figures that eclipse Man City’s numbers in the same metrics.
However, the Bavarians lost the xG battle by quite a distance at The Etihad Stadium in last week’s first leg (0.9-1.8), while they also allowed their hosts to rack up nine attempts on target. Bayern also collected two cards to City’s one in their defeat and they are priced at 6/5 to pick up more cautions again in the return leg.
Manchester City cut through Bayern’s defensive ranks time and time again last week, though their defensive work was equally impressive. City have been allowing opponents to muster just 0.93 goals from an xG against of just 0.82 this season, and they restricted Bayern to an xG of just 0.90 a week ago. That was the Bavarians’ third-lowest figure in that metric since the turn of the year.
Man City top the pile in the Champions League this season for shots on target per game (7.9) and the devastating Cityzens are of interest at 4/5 to hit at least five accurate attempts on goal again in today’s second leg. City (6.67 p/90) also won eight corners against Bayern last week and they are 2/5 to beat a modest target of over 3.5 corners later on.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Ex-City winger Leroy Sane seemed determined to land a blow against his old club last week in Manchester and the 27-year-old had five attempts at goal at The Etihad Stadium, which was a joint-game-high output. A whopping four of those efforts were accurate and Sane is 8/13 to register 1+ shots on target again this evening.
While he doesn’t feature on our list, it’s interesting to note that Joshua Kimmich tried his luck with two speculative punts from distance in the first leg and the holding midfielder could be a valuable addition to bet builders today in the 2+ shots market again at 13/10.
Man City racked up 17 shots against Bayern Munich last week and all of the usual suspects chipped in. Erling Haaland had five attempts, two of which found their mark and the Norwegian looks backable again at 10/11 to register 2+ shots on target today.
Ilkay Gundogan (2.14 p/90), Jack Grealish (1.77), Bernardo Silva (1.08) and Rodri (1.69) all had at least one shot each in the first leg, though in-form winger Grealish is perhaps the best value at even money to have 1+ shots on target in Germany later on. The 27-year-old thrives in transitional moments and there should be plenty of counter-attacking space for City to exploit later on.
Player Goals and Assists
Bayern Munich’s forward players just aren’t quite clicking at the moment and remarkably, each of Die Roten’s last three goals across four games in all competitions were provided by defenders. The return of focal point, Eric Maxim Choupo Moting, could make a difference in that regard, however.
The 34-year-old has scored ten times in just 14 Bundesliga starts and four times in as many starts in the Champions League and the veteran could be an anytime scorer option to consider at 15/8. Leroy Sane, who offered quite a bit of threat last week, is 5/2 in the same market.
The ferocious Norwegian goal-Yeti, Erling Haaland, scored twice in just 45 minutes at the weekend for City taking his recent tally to 15 goals in his last eight appearances in all competitions. Haaland scored City’s third against Bayern last week and the 22-year-old deserves a place on your coupon at 10/11 to net anytime again today.
Kevin De Bruyne grabbed his customary assist against Leicester on Saturday and the consistent creator now has 20 assists for the campaign in all comps. De Bruyne is 7/5 to manufacture another goal in Munich. Bernardo Silva, whose virtuoso display in the first leg earned him a goal and an assist, is 17/10 to either score or assist again later on.
Bayern Munich controlled 56% of the possession in Manchester last week, which was unusual for any fixture featuring City. Indeed, that was the Cityzen’s second-lowest possession figure for the campaign so far, so we should probably expect the Bavarians to enjoy the lion’s share of it again today.
Centre-halves Dayot Upamecano (85.5 p/90) and Matthijs de Ligt (76.1) have been prominent passers for Bayern this season and they played 96 and 77 of them respectively in the first leg. Upamecano is 1/3 to beat a 70+ passes hurdle today, while de Ligt is 2/5 in the same department.
City’s individual distribution figures were unusually low for the perennial ball-hoggers, and Rodri (61), Ruben Dias (63), Nathan Ake (41), Manuel Akanji (50) and John Stones (35) all delivered passing figures that were way below their normal lofty standards.
With passing outputs likely to be modest again this evening, finding value in the markets is tough, especially when you consider that players like Dias and Rodri are as short as 1/7 and 1/6 to play 70+ passes. Very little catches the eye here.
Bayern Munich Cards and Fouls
The midfield could be a hotbed of action at the Allianz Arena this evening with Joshua Kimmich (0.78 fouls p/90 & 7 cards) providing plenty of hustle and bustle alongside his foil, Leon Goretzka (1.27). Aggression will be the name of the game in there, and Kimmich represents good value at 3/10 to foul at least once, while Goretzka is favoured at 5/4 to foul two or more times today.
Benjamin Pavard meanwhile, who committed four fouls and was booked in the first leg, could find the going tough against Jack Grealish again, and the Frenchman is 7/2 to be carded again this evening, while his price of 7/2 to commit at least another two fouls is too good to pass up.
Foul-magnet Jack Grealish was fouled three times in last week’s first leg and the silky flanksman has the skillset to have Benjamin Pavard in a tizzy again in Germany. In midfield, Kevin de Bruyne, who was fouled twice in game one, faces another bruising encounter with Goretzka in this evening’s return fixture.
Alongside him, Ilkay Gundogan, who was sinned against once in Manchester, should have more physical altercations with the energetic Joshua Kimmich to navigate in Munich later on.
Match-Ups to watch
Joshua Kimmich vs Ilkay Gundogan
Benjamin Pavard vs Jack Grealish
Leon Goretzka vs Kevin de Bruyne
Manchester City Cards and Fouls
The combative side to Erling Haaland’s game doesn’t tend to get much attention, though the Norwegian knows how to throw his weight around and he committed a game-high equalling four fouls in last week’s first leg. The 22-year-old is excellent value at 3/10 to foul at least once again today.
Rodri, who has been committing 1.43 fouls per 90 this season, is even money to produce a minimum of two indiscretions this evening, while prolific ankle nibbler, Bernardo Silva, could be a nice addition to dockets at 2/7 in the 1+ fouls range. Silva committed two fouls against Bayern last week.
Joshua Kimmich was fouled three times at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg and his battle with Rodri for dominion over midfield could spawn more fouls in both directions in the return fixture in Munich.
Matthijs de Ligt, who has been fouled 0.7 times per 90 in the Champions League in 2022/23, could be in Erling Haaland’s hit list later on, while Alphonso Davies’ penetrative bursts down the left flank should put the Canadian on a collision course with Bernardo Silva.
Match-Ups to watch
Erling Haaland vs Matthijs de Ligt
Rodri vs Joshua Kimmich
Bernardo Silva vs Alphonso Davies
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Taking a swipe through the pack there’s surely a few bet builder picks that stood out to you? If you’re needing a little more inspiration I’ve put together some of my value selections below.
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City
All five of these selections came in in the first leg with ease.
Bayern will have to dominate the ball, and considering they took 56% of the ball in the first leg I’d expect them to do the same on home soil.
Upamecano attempted 96 passes in the first leg, and we’re only backing him here for 70 or more.
He averages 85.5 p/90 in the Bundesliga, which is of course lower standard opposition.
But he also averages over 70 passes in the Champions League (71.9 p /90).
Bernardo Silva is a little devil and a prolific ankle nibbler.
His two fouls in the first leg earned him a booking.
In the Premier League he’s managed 4 bookings, and commits 1.17 fouls p/90.
He’ll be deployed on the right, and up against Alphonso Davies who draws 1.11 fouls p/90 and attempts 6.06 take-ons.
Benjamin Pavard committed 4 fouls in the first leg.
He averages 2.28 fouls p/90 in the Champions League, much higher than his average of 1.00 in the league.
He’s going to have the toughest job in football to deal with Jack Grealish.
Grealish draws 3.40 fouls p/90 domestically, and 2.81 fouls p/90 in Europe.
Haaland is really undervalued for a foul today.
He committed a Pavard-equalling 4 fouls in the first leg.
His physical presence is often too much for opponents who will go down at contact when he throws his weight around.
Haaland is also City’s player with the wrost discipline with 5 cards in the league.
He commits 1.13 fouls p/90 there.
Like I said previously, Bayern will need to dominate the ball to stand a chance at clawing back their 3-goal deficit.
To do that, they’ll need to find space down the wings with Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard on the overlap.
That often leads to corners.
They managed 5 in the first leg away from home.
In the league their averages for corners go up drastically at home – increasing from 4.86 away to 7.93 at home in the league.