Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Tuesday October 2 2012
The Etihad Stadium
The Group D of Champions re-opens for business as the double reigning Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund thunder into town. This is one tough assignment for Planet Blue...
'We have defined our way of playing successful football and we will not change things too much for the Champions League. Our problems last season did not have much to do with our playing style but were rather a result of lacking experience. That's what we want to work on. We have gained a lot of international experience now and we have also learned that our football is working. But we also learned that we need to make fewer mistakes to get results. We made bigger mistakes in Europe last season than in the Bundesliga - and unforced ones at that.
"We saw the City v Arsenal game, the 1-1 draw, and I think that was important. The way Arsenal play is not totally dissimilar to the way we play and City have quality players, but they have to adapt to that type of football. Also, if you look at Bayern, we won there and City lost. They have a suitable team for the Champions League, but we'll have to see what happens tomorrow."
'Borussia is a strong team. You cannot win the Bundesliga without being a strong team and they have won two. They are a young team, they have good players and I think they have a fantastic manager. - I think the time will come when we can win the Champions League. But we are currently in a difficult group. My ambition is to win it but we have another five games and we want to go into the second stage. That will be difficult. It is difficult for this reason and sometimes when you play in the Champions League you should also be lucky with the draw. It is important to get into the second stage because after that anything can happen...we are a good team.'
'Aguero, Balotelli, Tevez or Deko are players I want to measure myself against. In Manchester, I can see how far I've come..'
'It is not easy to win the Champions League. The club just wants to be in the second round and we know we have to improve because we have a very good team and with a team like this we can go very far in the competition. We are playing our first game at home and we want to show the fans we made a mistake in Madrid. We have a tough game against Dortmund.'
MANCIO DORTMUND PRESSER:
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
Jack Rodwell (groin)
Micah Richards (ankle/foot)
Silva's performance at Fulham was full of relentless guile and craft and bodes very well for City's intensive run of fixtures. Merlin has worked tirelessly to regain full form and the signs are that he is back in the groove. His movement and awareness will be key.
Dortmund are coming to town with a fully fit squad and no notable absences. The dangerous Robert Lewandowski was rested for the 5-0 weekend thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach.
Marco Reus (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach) Julian Schieber (VfB Stuttgart) Leonardo Bittencourt (FC Energie Cottbus) Oliver Kirch (FC Kaiserslautern)
The on fire 23 year old midfielder scored a couple of crackers and could have scored more in last weekend's 5-0 drubbing of Monchengladbach. Reus is typical of the talented young internationals who have formed the backbone of the German champions squad which has secured back to back Bundesliga titles.
The Blues are unbeaten at home in 15 European matches. The last European home loss was against FC Midtjylland in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup 2nd qualifying round.
Dortmund lost all 3 of their away ties in the Group Stage last season.
City haven't kept a clean sheet in 9 games this season.
City and Dortmund have never met before but Die Borussen's first European away match was played at Maien Road against the rags! The 1956/57 European Champion Clubs Cup first round clash had to be played at City because The Stretfords had no floodlights. Dortmund lost 3-2.
Dortmund have lost all of their last 3 games in England, including last year at Arsenal.
Mancio has scored against Dortmund. On the way to Sampdoria`s European Cup Winners Cup triumph, the dapper City gaffer netted a second round equaliser against the German side.
Deko has scored 4 times in 7 league meetings for VfL Wolfsburg against Dortmund.
Dortmund's Hummels and Reus played in Germany's 2-1 defeat by Balotelli's Italy in the famous UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final.
Subotić is a Serbian national team-mate of Nastasić and Kolarov.
Agüero and Zabaleta helped Argentina to a 3-1 friendly win in August against a Germany team including Dortmund`s Hummels, Reus, Gündoğan, Schmelzer and Götze.
City failed to reach the knockout stages last season despite picking up 10 points in the group stage. This matched the record Champions League points haul without advancing set by: SV Werder Bremen (2006/07), Olympiacos FC, FC Dynamo Kyiv (2004/05) and PSV Eindhoven (2003/04).
FORM ACROSS ALL COMPETITIONS:
City: WDLDD W- Fulham 1 City 2
Dortmund: DWWLD W- Dortmund 5 Monchengladbach
Betting: City 4/5 Draw 11/4 Dortmund 16/5 Racing Post Soccerbase
TV Coverage: Sky Sports 2
Pavel Kralovec of The Czech Republic: Here comes our second consecutive up and coming referee in Europe. Fluent in German and English, the 35 year old engineer reffed in the Olympic Games and is on the long list for the 2014 World Cup. He graduated from qualifiers to The Champions League last season and refereed City`s win at Villareal. source: WorldReferee.com
Johnny On The Spot: We're not really here. Again. Planet Blue's exciting European adventure continues against the German champions. Dortmund are bursting with confidence and will provide another stern test of City's credentials. Workrate will be everything as will some form of settled consistency in Mancio's team selection. The side that lined up successfully at Fulham had the look of the men that secured the English title through a spectacular run-in and a similar familiar set up wouldn't go amiss. City's shape looked solid again although this correspondent would be sorely tempted to hand Deko a start, such have been his tremendous efforts this season. Dortmund are of course something of an unknown quantity in Manchester but they will take some beating. City to edge it with the assured clean sheet that eluded us at Fulham thanks to the ref... City 1 Borussia Dortmund 0
all times East Manchester
Sa 06 Oct 12h45 Sunderland, The Etihad, PL
Sa 20 Oct 15h00 West Brom, The Hawthorns, PL
We 24 Oct 19h45 Ajax, Amsterdam Arena, CL
Sa 27 Oct 17h30 Swansea City, The Etihad, PL
Sa 03Nov 17h30 West Ham, Upton Park, PL
Tu 06 Nov 19h45 Ajax, The Etihad, CL
Su 11 Nov 13h30 Spurs, The Etihad, PL
Sa 17 Nov 15h00 Aston Villa, The Etihad, PL
We 21 Nov 19h45 Real Madrid, The Etihad, CL
Su 25 Nov 16h00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, PL
We 28 Nov 20h00 Wigan, DW Stadium, PL
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Date:Tuesday October 2 2012
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