Manchester City are already through to the last-16 of the Champions League, but know they have to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Etihad on Tuesday to give themselves a chance of finishing top of Group D.
The Citizens have taken nine points from their five matches to date, and they lie two points behind the group leaders Juventus, who travel to face bottom of the table Sevilla.
If they get the three points against the Bundlesiga outfit however, Manuel Pellegrini’s side will be relying on the Spanish side also taking all three points, as a draw would be enough for the Old Lady to top the group because of their superior head-to-head record with City.
The Premier League outfit will certainly face a tougher task in the knockout stages too if they do finish second – Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are all currently leading their respective groups.
They don’t come into this clash in good form either, keeping just two clean sheets in their last 10 Premier League matches, losing three of their last six matches in all competitions, including Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
Their opponents on Tuesday evening started the season poorly, losing their opening five Bundesliga matches, but under new head coach, Andre Schubert, they have turned their form around since then, winning eight of their next 10 fixtures to move up to third in the standings behind Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.
And it was their most recent result against the former of those on Saturday that has been the most impressive under Schubert – a 3-1 success at home – that inflicted on Pep Guardiola’s men only their second defeat in all competitions this season.
The German side are also in great goalscoring form having netted 10 times in their last three fixtures, with Fabian Johnson and Lars Stindl scoring seven of those, and know a draw or loss will only be enough to secure their place in the Europa League if Sevilla fail to beat Juve.
City will once again be without their skipper, Vincent Kompany, who has a calf injury, while Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Martin Demichelis are also sidelined.
The latter’s absence means Eliaquim Mangala will start alongside Nicolas Otamendi at the heart of the defence.
The visitors have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Group Position: Man City – 2nd (9pts); Mönchengladbach – 3rd (5pts)
Last Meeting: Mönchengladbach 1-2 Man City (September 30, 2015)
Form: Man City – DLLWWL; Mönchengladbach – DDWWDW
Key Men: Man City – David Silva; Mönchengladbach – Fabian Johnson
Shoot Says: Man City 1-1 Mönchengladbach