This is the second consecutive season Manchester City have been placed in 'The Group of Death' in the group stages, and with Real Madrid looking increasingly likely to claim top spot – City will need victories over Dortmund and Ajax if they are to have any hope of progressing. Dortmund will also be looking to progress – and with already 3 points this season courtesy of a 1-0 victory over European giants Ajax – a victory for Dortmund will put them in a great position to qualify.
Last season saw Manchester City fail to qualify to the knock-out stages, albeit with 10 points to their name. Dortmund too, failed to progress, only earning themselves 4 points in a far less difficult group. Both teams are reigning champions of their respective domestic leagues – although neither have started the season in the way they expected, qualification to the knock-out stages will surely act as a catalyst for their campaign.
Manchester City Last 5 Results: D – L – D – L - W
Roberto Mancini's men are in a very poor run of form lately. Although earning a point away at The Britannia and a draw at home to Arsenal may be seen as decent results – defeats to Real Madrid and recently Aston Villa have seen Manchester City, most notably their back line, look all out of sorts.
The defeat to Aston Villa has come as the biggest shock to City so far this season. Although The Capital One Cup is far from the top of Mancini's priorities this season – it is still a competition he would rather be in. Now left with only the FA Cup and Premiership to fight for domestically, qualification to the knock-out stages will be crucial for Mancini.
Last weekend saw Manchester City earn three points at Craven Cottage. Beating Fulham 2-1 in the process. Goals for Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have started to gain some momentum for Mancini's men. This was Augero's first goal of the season – and with him firing, expect City to start regaining the form that saw them become champions last season.
Borussia Dortmund Last 5 Results: W – W – L – D – W
Dortmund come into this game in better form than their opponents. Although dominant in the Bundesliga for the past two years – Dortmund find themselves third - 7 points behind Bayern Munich, who have started the season perfectly.
Dortmund already have a win in Europe this season. A 1-0 victory over Ajax, courtesy of a Robert Lewandowski strike see's Dortmund second in Group D. A victory over Man City for the German side will no doubt see them favourites to qualify – behind Real Madrid of course.
Player To Watch: Manchester City – Joe Hart
After single-handedly keeping Man City in the game at The Bernabeu, Joe Hart came under some scrutiny for his post-match comments. Roberto Mancini was not happy with The England No.1, who criticized his team for not keeping out Madrid in the last 5 minutes of the game.
Hart said: 'Its not on. You can't go 2-1 up and lost the game. We can only blame ourselves. They are a very good team, so are we. We dug deep, got a lead twice and threw it away. Its hard to come off the field after losing 3-2 and be positive.' Although these comments angered Mancini – the one positive he can take out of the result was the performance on his goalkeeper. Hart made a handful of world class saves to deny the Madrid superstars, and was only beaten by two world class finishes and his normally colossal of a center back ducking out the way of a shot.
Man City will be hoping Hart can produce the same performance against Dortmund as he did against Madrid in order for them to progress in to the knock-out stages. Although only time will tell how Hart has reacted to Mancini's stern words.
Player To Watch: Borussia Dortmund – Robert Lewandowski
Last season saw Lewandowski earn the Bundesliga player of the Season – he finished third top goal scorer with 22 goals, as well as earning 6 assists. He has become a key figure for the German side, and Dortmund will look to him for the goals required to win this game. Manchester City's backline is far from effective right now, Lewandowski will be looking for service from the likes of Mario Gotze, Marco Reus, and Jakub Blaszczykowski to get his side back in to the knock-out stages of European Football.
Having scored Dortmund's only goal in The Champions League this season, Lewandowski will be keen to put his name on the transfer market with a performance against English Champions, Manchester City. Lewandowski has 2 goals in The Champions League for Dortmund – and will be keen to add to his ever increasing goal tally for The German Champions.
Probable Line Up – Manchester City: Hart - Zabaleta - Nastasic - Kompany - Glichy - Toure - Garcia - Silva - Nasri - Aguero - Tevez
Probable Line Up – Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek - Subotic - Hummels - Schmelzer - Gundogan - Kehl - Blaszcyzowski - Gotze - Reus - Lewandowski
Predicted Score: 3-1
Manchester City are having a horrible time of late. Losing to Real Madrid hurt them – followed by a shock defeat to Aston Villa. This has seen last seasons champions look a completely different side.
However, I believe Mancini will sort his team out prior to the game on Wednesday – and The English Champions will have to much class for Dortmund.
Dortmund in themselves are a great side, along with the likes of Gotze and Reus, could well cause some damage to City – but with their league form stuttering for the first time in some time, Dortmund will struggle with the likes of Carlos Tevez, a fit Sergio Aguero and David Silva.