Archive for September 14th, 2016

Manchester City v Borussia Monchengladbach preview

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Sergio Aguero is fit to face Borussia Monchengladbach in Manchester City’s rearranged Champions League group-stage opener at the Etihad on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s tie was postponed after the Etihad pitch was left unplayable by a spell of incessant rain, as well as a spectacular thunder and lightning storm, in Manchester and nearby areas.

Aguero missed the derby win over Manchester United through suspension, but Pep Guardiola has confirmed the City forward can play against the Bundesliga side.

Guardiola, who revealed Ilkay Gundogan and Vincent Kompany are closing in on a first-team return, said: “Aguero can play – he was banned, not injured. Naijabet

“Gundogan every day and every week is much, much better. Vincent is in the same situation – he’s training hard. All of the players who didn’t face United did hard training and he trained really good.

“They are almost there to help us play the next six games in the next 18 days.”

City reached the Champions League semi-final for the first time last season, but were knocked out by eventual champions, Real Madrid.

Guardiola, who admitted his side have a tough opener to the new campaign, added: “Borussia are a brave team, a brave coach – one of the best teams in Europe. If we let them play, they have a lot of quality. The draw was difficult for us – of course because of Barcelona but also Monchengladbach.

“They are so, so intelligent. The players in the middle – they are so, so offensive. They receive five players behind our midfield. They counter-attack like a master. Like a German team. They do it well.”

Team news

Fabian Delph and Fernando both missed training on Monday through injury.

Kompany continues to train and is close to returning after a thigh injury while new midfielder Gundogan is also nearing a debut after knee trouble. Midfielder Yaya Toure is not registered for the competition.

Opta stats

Monchengladbach have won only one of their six games against English clubs in all competitions – a 3-2 win over Arsenal in the UEFA Cup in September 1996.

Wednesday’s clash will be Man City’s sixth consecutive Champions League participation.

This is Borussia Monchengladbach’s second consecutive Champions League group stage participation, after failing to qualify for any of the previous 23 campaigns.

Aguero has failed to score in his last five Champions League games, his longest drought in the competition since his run of five games without a goal between November 2011 and October 2012.

Naijabet odds

Manchester City are 1.39 with Naija Bet to kick-off the Champions League group stages with a victory, while Borussia Monchengladbach are 7.99 to cause an upset and 5.41 to hold their hosts to a draw.

UCL Match Preview : Tottenham vs Monaco

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Moussa Dembele is available to face Monaco in Tottenham’s opening Champions League group game on Wednesday.

Spurs received a boost on Tuesday when they confirmed a new five-year contract for midfielder Eric Dier.

Dembele’s availability is further good news for Mauricio Pochettino, although the Tottenham manager will be without Danny Rose, who is still recovering from a knock suffered on England duty.

These two teams met each other for the first time in last season’s Europa League group stage, with Spurs winning 4-1 at White Hart Lane.

Wednesday’s game will see a change of venue, though, as Tottenham host Monaco at Wembley due to the continuing development of their new stadium in north London.

Team news

Spurs welcome back Dembele, who has missed the first four games of the campaign due to a domestic ban carried over from last season.

He received the suspension for violent conduct after clashing with Chelsea striker Diego Costa during the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino may look to ease the Belgium international back into action from the bench, while Moussa Sissoko is in contention to feature and Rose is out.

Opta stats

Tottenham have won one of their last five Champions League games (1-0 v AC Milan in February 2011), drawing two and losing two.

Tottenham are the first team since Arsenal to play their Champions League home games at Wembley. The Gunners did it in the 1998/99 and 1999/00 group stages, winning only two of their six games (D1 L3).

This is Monaco’s seventh Champions League campaign. Only Lyon (14), Marseille and Paris SG (9) have more among French clubs.

Monaco have reached the knockout stages in five of their previous six Champions League campaigns, including the final in 2004 (0-3 v Porto).

Eight of Monaco’s last nine Champions League goals have been scored in the second half.

Monaco have also conceded only one goal in their last eight group games in the Champions League, against Benfica in November 2014.

Erik Lamela scored four goals in two games against Monaco in last season’s Europa League, including a first-half hat-trick at White Hart Lane.


Group E favourites Tottenham are 1.8 with niajabet to make a winning start to their Champions League campaign, with Monaco 4.84 outsiders while the draw is priced at 3.76