All eyes will be on The Etihad Stadium this evening for what promises to be an enthralling showpiece showdown between Manchester City and Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Familiar foes Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel will face off in what should be a fascinating battle of tactical wits as two of the tournament favourites aim to establish a first-leg advantage ahead of next week’s return fixture in Germany.
Below, I’ve compiled a stats pack for this evening’s glitzy tie which contains everything you need to approach the bet builder markets as a more confident punter. Use the info below along with my Stats Pack Guide to sharpen your edge even further.
Manchester City’s squad is virtually at full strength and Phil Foden is listed as their only fitness concern at present as the attacking midfielder steps up his recovery from appendix surgery. The Cityzens have enjoyed plenty of success with a back three of late and Pep Guardiola could lean on the same shape today against his former employers.
Bernardo Silva, who was named on the bench against Southampton at the weekend, will hope to force his way into the XI with Riyad Mahrez’s position the most under threat. Former Borussia Dortmund trio Manuel Akanji, Ilkay Gundogan and Erling Haaland will be keen to do some damage against Bayern Munich.
Thomas Tuchel has a bit of a headache at centre-forward where Eric-Maxim Choup-Moting is a major doubt with a knee problem. Thomas Muller could fill in to spearhead the Bayern attack, though Serge Gnabry played in that position against Freiburg at the weekend. Sadio Mane could also fill that void.
Leon Goretzka was kept in reserve in Bayern’s victory over Freiburg on Saturday, though the German international should reprise his role in midfield alongside Joshua Kimmich this evening. On-loan Joao Cancelo can play against his parent club, while former City star Leroy Sane could feature on his old stomping ground too.
Manchester City top the pile domestically for a whole series of metrics this season, while their output in the Champions League has been equally impressive. The Cityzens are unmatched for shots per 90 in the competition and rank third for second on target, while only Napoli’s xG figures are more impressive.
Defensively, the robust English champions have been conceding fewer shots (6.00/90) than any other outfit in the tournament, while no other side still competing in this season’s UCL has won as many corners as City (52). The Manchester giants have yet to taste defeat in the 2022/23 Champions League.
Bayern Munich are back in the ascendancy in the Bundesliga despite a wobbly domestic campaign by their own sky-high standards, though the Bavarians have been hitting their usual world-class standards in the Champions League where they are the only team to hold a 100% winning record after eight matches.
Bayern rank third in the tournament for shots per 90, though they are the metric leaders for accuracy. They do sit down in ninth for shots conceded however, which is a slight concern from their perspective. Munich’s disciplinary record is similar to City’s in the UCL so far (12 cards to ten), and bettors shouldn’t expect a glut of rash tackles when these composed outfits face off.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Erling Haaland’s productivity in the final third continues to astound and the Norwegian hotshot, who is hitting 3.6 shots on target per 90 in the Champions League this term, notched 13 accurate efforts in his last three runouts for City in all competitions. Seven of those arrived in one sitting in the previous round of the UCL against Leipzig and Haaland looks like excellent value to hit at least two shots on target again at 4/6 later on.
In-form Jack Grealish is another option of interest at 10/11 in the 1+ shots on target range. The 27-year-old winger has clocked three accurate strikes in each of his last two appearances for City (vs Liverpool & Southampton).
Bayern’s attacking play is diverse and dynamic, and several of their players have been posting healthy figures in the shooting department in this season’s Champions League. The fleet-footed Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane could be worth tracking today, especially if there is space on offer for counter attacks.
Gnabry is backable at 8/11 to hit at least one shot on target, while the always dangerous Musiala is even better value at 10/11 in the same market. Former City winger Sane, completes the generous prices at 10/11 in the same arena.
Player Goals and Assists
Erling Haaland scored a sensational five goals when City hammered German outfit RB Leipzig 7-0 in the previous round of the Champions League, and while the 22-year-old is unlikely to match that bounty against Bayern Munich, odds of 8/11 for him to score anytime again are difficult to ignore. Haaland has scored seven times against the Bavarians over the course of his prolific career so far.
The aforementioned Jack Grealish, who has lodged four goal contributions in his last two starts, could be an option to consider to either score or assist again at 6/5, while Kevin de Bruyne is 4/5 in the same department. The Belgian maestro has claimed seven goal contributions in his last six appearances for City.
With Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting almost certainly out of action, Bayern have to look elsewhere for players to provide cutting edge. Leroy Sane has matched Choupo-Moting for Champions League goals this season (four) and the rapid wide attacker is priced at 6/5 to pocket a goal or an assist on his return to The Etihad Stadium this evening.
Interestingly, defender Benjamin Pavard has scored in three of Bayern’s last four Champions League fixtures, though the Frenchman is a rollicking 14/1 to net anytime again for a reason. Kingsley Coman, who has a nose for the big occasion, scored the winner in the away leg of Bayern’s Last 16 triumph over PSG in February, and the 27-year-old could be a smarter choice at 15/8 to either score or create a goal today.
Manchester City and Bayern Munich are two of the Champions League’s prime ball-retention experts, though home advantage should be key later and I expect the Cityzens to call the shots in terms of possession.
Nathan Ake’s cultured left foot gets through a lot of distribution work, while Spanish midfield metronome Rodri has also been pinging high numbers of passes around on the continent this term. Both players are worth a look in the 90+ passes range this evening, while Ruben Dias should also see plenty of action, with the Portuguese defender favoured to beat a 70 passes target.
Bayern Munich aren’t used to chasing shadows, though they will have to be patient at times this evening when out of possession and the Bavarians’ midfielders and forwards in particular, might be more starved of service than usual.
Bayern’s best passing market options are in more defensive zones today, and reliable distributors Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano look docket-worthy in the 70+ passes section. French star Upamecano has played 80+ passes in three of his last five starts for Bayern.
Manchester City Cards and Fouls
While I don’t expect many cards to be issued later on, this evening’s quarter-final clash could well be a master class in tactical fouling. Anchorman Rodri, who has been averaging 1.42 fouls per 90 this season, could be one to watch at 8/13 to commit 2+ indiscretions later.
The bristly Jack Grealish (1.27 fouls p/90) looks like a solid coupon padder at 1/3 to commit at least one foul during his pressing duties, while Ruben Dias (0.93), who has pace and trickery to defend against, should interest plenty of bettors at 1/2 in the same market.
All-action Bayern skipper Joshua Kimmich has been one of his team’s most-fouled players this season and his bustling style of play should ensure that clashes with his counterpart Rodri should be plentiful this evening.
Benjamin Pavard (fouled 1.1 times p/90 in the UCL) is both possession hungry and adventurous and his forays forward could be checked by Jack Grealish later on. The mercurially talented Jamal Musiala (1.54) could drift into areas patrolled by the more physically-imposing Ruben Dias and fouls could rack up when those two come into each other’s orbit.
Match-Ups to watch
Rodri vs Joshua Kimmich
Jack Grealish vs Benjamin Pavard
Ruben Dias vs Jamal Musiala
Bayern Munich Cards and Fouls
I’ve already picked out Benjamin Pavard’s tussle with Jack Grealish as one to keep a close eye on later, though the Frenchman is just as likely as his marker to draw intervention from the match officials later. Pavard is priced at 4/11 to commit a modest 1+ sins against the serially-fouled Grealish at The Etihad Stadium.
28-year-old Leon Goretzka has been fouling at a rate of 1.32 times per 90 this and the German international can be nudged onto coupons at 1/4 to commit 1+ fouls again later on. Matthijs de Ligt (0.91) meanwhile, has the unenviable task of shackling Erling Haaland and the Dutchman represents great value at 4/9 in the 1+ fouls stakes.
It might be that his calves are too big a target for frustrated defenders to miss, but Jack Grealish (3.44) remains one of football’s most-fouled players and the flanksman’s collection of bruises could be increased this evening when he is marked by Benjamin Pavard.
Creative whiz Kevin de Bruyne, who has been fouled 0.98 times per 90 this term, should have the hard-working Leon Goretzka breathing down his neck at times in midfield, while Erling Haaland’s one-on-one duel with Matthijs de Ligt has the potential to spawn fouls in both directions.
Match-Ups to watch
Benjamin Pavard vs Jack Grealish
Leon Goretzka vs Kevin de Bruyne
Matthijs de Ligt vs Erling Haaland
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
I’ll be waiting for lineups, but I’ve got a tasty looking bet builder lined up. Keep an eye out on my Live Tips Page closer to kick off.