All the talk has been around Erling Haaland, with his agent, Mino Raiola, and his father hopping across the elite football teams in the world, but there cannot be a more concise audition than playing against a prospective client.
To say Haaland has been a deadly striker in the Champions League this season could still be regarded as an understatement, as the 20-year-old has continually defied all logical explanations; setting and breaking records in Europe’s biggest club competition.
After 20 UEFA club competition games, Haaland has scored an astonishing 24 goals, and he has registered at least once against every single side he has met in the Champions League.
Now, the hottest property in world football is set to face his father’s former club in Manchester City and the question on the lips of many is would Haaland be able to inflict any manner of pain on the Cityzens or will Pep Guardiola come out with a tactical master plan to neutralise the rampaging Norwegian striker.
Guardiola said of Haaland in the pre-match press conference, “He’s fantastic, everyone knows it. A blind guy can realise he’s fantastic, it’s not necessary to be a manager to realise it.”
Indeed, this scenario perfectly sets the stage for a possible mouthwatering clash as the UEFA Champions League quarter-final matches get underway.
Apart from Haaland’s numbers that strike fear, Dortmund’s record against City and as far as English oppositions are concerned also suggests a banana peel for the EPL table toppers.
Dortmund are unbeaten in seven of their last visits to England in the Champions League, though they have locked horns twice before with City in the 2012-13 group stage, where Man City held Dortmund to a 1-1 draw at home before losing 1-0 in Germany.
While the unbeaten record suggests the upper hand for Dortmund, it is worthy to note the Black and Yellow have not advanced past the quarter-final stage since the 2012-13 season, where Bayern Munich beat them in the final.
The football world eagerly awaits to see what Haaland will do against Manchester City. Will it be hype or will the reality confirm what we have been hearing?
Current Form: Manchester City [W-W-W-W-W]; Borussia Dortmund [L-D-W-D-L]
21/07/18 ICC Manchester City 0 – 1 Borussia Dortmund
28/07/16 ICC Borussia Dortmund 1 – 1 Manchester City
04/12/12 UCL Borussia Dortmund 1 – 0 Manchester City
03/10/12 UCL Manchester City 1 – 1 Borussia Dortmund
04/08/10 CLF Borussia Dortmund 3 – 1 Manchester City
“When I analyse a team, I never see the table. It is a football game, and it starts from 0-0. We have two legs and the team that plays better will go through.” – Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Manager
“City will hold a lot of possession, we have to assume that tomorrow. They like to tire their opponents out in order to open up space. When we have the ball, we have to get going. That is when it becomes difficult to stop us.” – Edin Terzic, Borussia Dortmund Manager
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