VMC Preview: Manchester City v FC Basel
A lot was made last season that Pep failed to take his team beyond the round of 16 for the first time ever and whilst this may have been newsworthy to some.
Pep has approached the Champions League this season with a determination that his method of coaching is to produce beautiful football, which to the delight of the City faithful, is arguably the best football seen in the Premier (although the detractors will insist that City have not won anything yet, then when they did and with almost have one hand on the Premier title, they then changed it to multiple back to back titles for the next 20 years, that last bit might be an exaggeration tongue in cheek thing).
The fact is that City go into this 2nd Leg with 4 away goals tucked into their shorts and in five days take on Stoke on a cold Monday night, so the 4 goals might just get us through as Pep will almost certainly look to rest some of his stars. However because we have 3 out and I am not sure that Pep will play more than one EDS, because Basel are no mugs and will look to recover some pride, but will they score 4 or 5 goals at the Etihad, you would hope not.
One thing for certain they won't do what a lot of teams do when they play us and that is to try and put up shop, there is no point in doing that, unless the mind set says it would be far better to lose 1-0 than have the Basel goalkeepers touch on the ball is to take it out of the back of the net.
City cannot afford to be complacent because we have some important matches to come, let's hope it is a good spectacle for the fans both home and away.
I have not picked Aguero because I think Jesus needs a game, but Kun Aguero needs his 200th and is in fine form just now.
FC Basel 1893 - This is Basel's third appearance in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. In 2011/12 they beat FC Bayern München 1-0 in the home first leg only to lose 7-0 away - their biggest defeat in UEFA competition.
Did you know?
Roger Federer is a huge Basel fan.
Predicted City XI
Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Delph
Foden, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Jesus, Sane
Subs: Bravo, Silva D, Diaz, Kompany, Walker, Toure, Aguero
Out: Sterling, Mendy, Fernandinho
• Danilo, Ilkay Gündogan and Fernandinho will incur a suspension with their next yellow cards.
Come on City!!!