European champions Bayern Munich will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City on Matchday 2 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Bavarian giants have been on impressive form in recent weeks, having won six consecutive matches since being held to a 1-1 draw at Freiburg on 27 August.
Meanwhile, City have been ‘hit-or-miss’ this season.
The hosts have already lost two league games - against Cardiff City and Aston Villa - in 2013/14, but dominant performances against Newcastle, Viktoria Plzen, Manchester United and Wigan Athletic have given the club’s supporters just enough reason for optimism.
Bayern are 1/2 to win Group D, with the bookmakers backing City at 29/20.
Possible Team Selections
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Navas, Yaya Toure, Nasri; Dzeko, Negredo.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, Müller, Ribery; Mandzukic.
This year’s draw allows Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola to renew their La Liga rivalry in the world’s largest club football competition.
The two managers have said all the right things ahead of Wednesday’s appetizing clash, with both bosses full of praise for one another, and rightfully so.
Pellegrini: “It is very difficult at this moment to improve with Bayern because they won the last three competitions but he [Guardiola] will find a way because he is a very good manager.
“He knows the way we play so he will try different things. But we know things about Guardiola, too. I lived in Spain nine years so I know exactly the way Guardiola plays.”
“City are one of the best teams in the world with a very, very good coach,” added Guardiola.
At the same time, Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has revealed a win over Bayern Munich would mean much more than beating United.
Fernandinho: “It would be a huge statement to the football world if we could beat the best team in Europe, one of the best teams in the world. The projection would be much higher than beating United. That is why a win for us would be so important.”
City are unbeaten in their last 20 home matches in Europe, a streak that stretches back to 2008/09.
Two years ago, Bayern and City were drawn in the same group in this competition. That season, the former won 2-0 at the Allianz Arena, while the latter triumphed by the same scoreline at the Etihad Stadium.
Bayern won two matches on English soil last term: the first leg of their Round 2 tie against Arsenal (3-1) and the final against Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund (2-1).