On Tuesday, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, champions of England and Germany respectively, meet at the Etihad for their first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. Despite near-faultless performances in Europe, both sides have struggled to defend their domestic titles this season.
Man City’s eighth win in a row was a 4-1 victory against Southampton over the weekend, keeping them in the race for the Premier League title alongside Arsenal. During their winning streak, the team has scored an impressive 31 goals. With a healthy Erling Haaland up front, it is no surprise that the Norwegian has scored 30 PL goals this season, and an additional 10 in six Champions League games. However, Haaland has lost all seven encounters against Bayern during his time with Borussia Dortmund.
In the last 16, Haaland scored five in a dominant 7-0 thrashing of another German opponent, RB Leipzig, to confirm an 8-1 aggregate victory. City has previously met Bayern frequently during their early Champions League years, winning two of their three meetings at the Etihad. Their only defeat at home came with their current boss Pep Guardiola in the away dugout with the German giants.
Despite sitting at the top of the Bundesliga, Bayern has been even more unconvincing than City domestically. Tuchel’s predecessor Julian Nagelsmann took care of a difficult group containing Barcelona and Inter Milan, before sweeping Paris Saint-Germain aside without much fuss in the last 16. Tuchel’s first game in charge saw Bayern beat title rivals Dortmund at the Allianz Arena. However, they followed it up with a shock cup defeat to Freiburg, exiting the DFB-Pokal at the quarter-final stage.
One of Tuchel’s main tasks will be to tighten Bayern up defensively, as they have kept just six clean sheets in their last 16 matches, conceding two or more on five occasions. This is a concern as they face one of the best attacking sides in Europe, who are on a hot streak of scoring goals with a certain prolific forward leading the line.
Tuchel has reached both the 2020 and 2021 Champions League finals, winning with Chelsea last year. He eliminated City in the semifinals of the FA Cup as well.