Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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Will Copenhagen manage to make a sensation and avoid elimination from the Champions League?

Manchester City will host FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match at the Etihad Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, March 7, beginning at 01:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Manchester City News & Current Form: 

Manchester City, the reigning Champions League winners, secured a convincing 1:3 victory in Denmark. Thus, the English club set a unique achievement: the Citizens became the first team in history to score three or more goals in seven consecutive Champions League matches.

In addition, a win on Thursday would allow the Mancunians to become the third team in UCL history to win at least 10 consecutive victories in this tournament after Real Madrid CF (10 until February of 2015) and FC Bayern Munich (10 until November of 2013 and 15 until November of 2020).

Obviously, this 1/8 finals pairing is probably the most lopsided of all. The first match was completely under the dictation of Guardiola’s wards, the Lions made only four strikes, and only one of them was on target. The English, in turn, made as many as 26 strikes, 12 of which came inside the box. They won possession of the ball by a huge margin and only by a miracle did not score more. Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara made nine saves, and he will surely have a lot of work to do again.

After the Copenhagen triumph, the Blues sealed a 1:1 draw with Chelsea FC in the English Premier League, followed by victories over Brentford FC (1:0), AFC Bournemouth (0:1) and a 3:1 derby win over Manchester United FC

In the eighth minute, Marcus Rashford gave the Red Devils the lead with a powerful strike from 25 meters, after which the Reds went into a low defense. But then came a superb double by Phil Foden, after which Pep Guardiola called the player the best in the Premier League at the moment. The Sky Blues had a massive possession advantage, 74% to 26%. The tight defense of a ranked opponent didn’t stop City from hitting 3 scoring strikes.

Player of the match in Manchester derby – Phil Foden, author of 2 goals

Striker Erling Haaland scored on 90+1 minutes, although a more memorable episode at the end of the first half, when he failed to score into an empty net with a pass from Foden. Guardiola stood up for his player, noting that the greats are able to immediately forget failures. It is far from the first time this season that the Norwegian has been let down by finishing. Despite this, in 31 meetings in all tournaments in the team he scored as many as 28 goals and gave six assists.

Thanks to such results, the White and Blues continue to fight for the title with Liverpool FC, the gap from the first position is 1 point. Note that in the next round of the EPL City play away against the Reds. The match is extremely important, and perhaps even decisive in the fight for the first line in the top division, so it would not be surprising if the coaching staff of Manchester club gives rest to the strongest, given the result of the first meeting of the UCL.

Also the Citizens recently reached the 1/4 finals of the Emirates FA Cup, defeating Luton Town FC (6:2). One of the main heroes of the meeting was Haaland, who scored a penta-trick. The Norwegian repeated the record of the legendary George Best, who scored five goals in the tournament in 1970. 

As for the personnel losses, Joško Gvardiol recovered from injury and was included in the squad list for the game against Manchester United, but did not appear on the field. But Jack Grealish got injured during the game against Luton, and is the only personnel loss before the match in the Champions League.

FC Copenhagen News & Current Form: 

Unfortunately for Copenhagen, in the 1/8 finals they got the strongest opponent of all possible, and after the home defeat in the first match (1:3) there is little chance to go further. Head coach Jacob Neestrup admitted after the game that Man City were a level or two above the opponents we faced during the group stage.

Therefore, to advance to the next round of the tournament, the Danish club must win with a difference of at least two goals to at least take the game into extra time. By the way, Copenhagen have not won a single Champions League away match since December of 2016, and have never won on English soil in history. 

The Danes, meanwhile, are not discouraged – on their home field they once again proved themselves by scoring against a formidable opponent and hope to prove themselves in the return match at the Etihad. Besides, it’s not often that clubs from Denmark make it to the UCL playoffs, so we can give the Lions an A for this achievement. 

In February, the Lions defeated Silkeborg IF (0:3) and then FC Nordsjaelland (2:0), although they failed to reach the top of the standings. Last Saturday, the capital team disappointed their fans by losing 2:0 to FC Midtjylland

The hosts scored a goal in each of the halves, with Mads Bech Sorensen scoring on 34 minutes. The final score of the game was set by Dario Osorio in the fourth minute of the second half. This loss interrupted the club’s winning mini-series of two games, which came in the Danish Superliga

In the national championship all the struggle is still ahead, but Copenhagen, along with Midtjylland and Brøndby IF after 20 rounds have already secured a gap from the rest of the rivals. So it is this trio that will play for the championship.

The team did not do without personnel losses before the Champions League match – defender Davit Khocholava and young goalkeeper Theo Sander are injured. In addition, the experienced Lukas Lerager has not had time to recover for the next meeting and is still in the infirmary. By the way, he is the club’s top scorer in the Champions League, in the group round of the tournament he scored three goals. 

In the Danish Super League, the most prolific is Roony Bardghji, who has seven goals. Emil Højlund – brother of Man United striker Rasmus Højlund – can strengthen the game by coming off the bench in the second half.

Copenhagen’s top scorer in the Champions League Lukas Lerager will miss the 2nd leg match with Manchester City due to an injury

This will be the third duel between the Citizens and the Lions in European competitions. The first one took place in the UEFA Cup play-offs in the 2008/2009 season. Then the match in Denmark ended in a 2:2 draw, and in the return leg Manchester City won 2:1 and advanced to the next stage.

The second date of the clubs took place in the last draw of the Champions League. In the group stage matches, Guardiola’s team won at the Etihad 5:0, and at the Parken the teams parted ways with a 0:0 score. As a result, the English won the Champions League, while Copenhagen took the last place in the quartet.

Manchester City form guide: W-D-W-W-W-W

FC Copenhagen form guide: L-W-L-W-W-L

Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen Head-To-Head Record:

Manchester CityDrawFC Copenhagen
  • October 5, 2022: Manchester City 5 – 0 FC Copenhagen (UEFA Champions League);
  • October 11, 2022: FC Copenhagen 0 – 0 Manchester City (UEFA Champions League);
  • February 13, 2024: FC Copenhagen 1 – 3 Manchester City (UEFA Champions League).

Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen Predicted XI:

Manchester City’s possible starting lineup (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Kovacic, Rodri; Foden, Alvarez, Doku; Haaland.

FC Copenhagen’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Grabara; Jelert, Vavro, McKenna, Diks; Goncalves, Falk, Mattsson; Elyounoussi, Larsson, Achouri.

Statistical preview of the match Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen:

  • City’s First XI average age is 27.4 years, Copenhagen’s First XI average age is 26.7 years.
  • The total value of City’s squad is 1.26 bln euros, while the total of Copenhagen comes up to 84 mln euros.
  • Espen Eskas has been appointed as the center referee. The referee has already served six games this season, showing an average of 2 Yellow Cards and also whistles 19 fouls per game. 
  • In all seven matches of the current Champions League draw Manchester City scored exactly three goals.
  • The average total shots on goal for Manchester City is 18.95 and for Copenhagen the number is 14.25.
  • City foul an average of 7.95 times per game, while Copenhagen’s average is 10.06.
  • Manchester City’s average xG (expected goals) is 2.2, while Copenhagen’s is 1.69.
  • Manchester City earn an average of 0.21 penalties per game, while Copenhagen earns 0.16. 
  • City’s average offside total per match is exactly one, while the Danes’ is 1.44.
  • City possessed the ball 75% of the time in the first leg, had 3.53 xG (expected goals) and made26 shots on goal. 
  • Erling Haaland has scored 7 goals in his last four matches.
  • The Danish club has suffered just one defeat in 6 away European Cup matches this season.
  • Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 19 meetings in all competitions.
  • Copenhagen conceded at least two goals from City in 4 out of 5 head-to-head meetings.
  • The Citizens have scored 26 goals in their last 10 home meetings.
  • In 2022, Copenhagen lost to Manchester City with the score 0:5.

What has been said before the match:

Gaffer of Manchester City Pep Guardiola about Champions League competition and what advantage the coach would want to have:

“We have the chance to be in the quarter-finals again and this is the target. We’re not far off that. The way Copenhagen defend – they are compact – and all the movements they do really well.  I am always aware of the opponents, but I especially look at our players.”

“They play two years in a row with the same manager, and they have a strong striker. They are compact and do really good movements. My concern is always there. I  would like us to be ahead 7:0, but that normally doesn’t happen in the Champions League. I want us to perform the way we have to.”

“The competition is getting better, tougher. Always I have the feeling that getting to the semifinals is harder. Teams are better, managers are better. More difficult now than when I was a player. I would not undermine what we achieved at Barcelona, that was really good.”

“Every moment is every moment. Every game was difficult. Every step you do is complicated.  You have to be good at the right moment, mentally, physically. I give the same credit for the one we won and the two at Barcelona as well.”

“Red cards or bad decisions can happen in football. If we conceded another goal in the group stages, we are second in the table and the draw would have been Real Madrid not Copenhagen.”

Manchester City vs FC Copenhagen Prediction:

Copenhagen have not won away in the Champions League since December 2016, and the Danes’ previous trip to the Etihad ended in a 0:5 thrashing in October 2022. The Citizens are in phenomenal form, already holding a comfortable two goal advantage after the 1st leg, they have home advantage, and granted, the class of even Man City’s reserve players is far superior to those starters on whom Jacob Neestrup is largely relied upon. A sensation in Manchester is hardly something we will see. In the first match played on the road the Sky Blues possessed the ball 75% of the time, amassed 3.53 xG and had 26 shots on goal. These numbers help paint a picture of the global class difference that is present in this pairing. Nevertheless, the Lions have nothing to lose, and this opens up the opportunity to play attacking football, boldly and openly, without much regard for the defense. 

We believe that the upcoming match is seen by the City coaching staff as a general preparation before the 6-pointer against Liverpool, their main rival in the EPL title race. Pep Guardiola will try to rest all his leaders without risking them. However, with any lineup, the Citizens will try to play soundly not only in attack, but also in defense in order not to concede against the modest Danish side. Whether Ederson will be able to keep a clean sheet is perhaps the main intrigue. We expect a confident victory from Manchester City, and predict that Roony Bardghji and Co. will not be successful in finding the back of the net of the home team’s goal.

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Manchester City will win and the individual total of FC Copenhagen will be less than 0.5 – Yes.

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