Manchester City have been pitted against Bayern Munich in a Champions League quarter-final littered with as many subplots as sublime players.
Pep Guardiola’s former employers are the only team to have won every match they’ve contested in this season’s competition. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland is the tournament’s top scorer this year but Bayern Munich can boast the leading assist-provider – although, four of Joao Cancelo’s five European assists came while he was playing for City (including two for Haaland) before arriving in Bavaria on loan in January.
The intricate web of interwoven brilliance goes on and on. However, City are still very much in a Premier League title race with Arsenal – fortunately there are no links between individuals from both clubs in that dynamic. So, where does this Champions League quarter-final between two of the competition’s favourites fit into City’s calendar?
City have a season-defining April ahead of them. The month begins with the visit of frequent title rivals Liverpool before City host the current Premier League leaders Arsenal in the final week of April.
Both legs of the Champions League quarter-final have been squeezed into the three-and-a-half weeks separating those two domestic blockbusters. City welcome Bayern Munich to the Etihad Stadium for the first leg on Tuesday 11 April, three days after travelling to Southampton and in the same week as a home game against Leicester City.
With both the Saints and Foxes embroiled in a nine-team-wide relegation scrap, City’s opening leg is sandwiched between matches against opponents fighting for every point.
Guardiola leads his team back to Bavaria on Wednesday 19 April – it will be the Catalan coach’s first match as an opposition manager in the Allianz Arena since overseeing Barcelona’s 1-1 draw against Bayern in 2009. A share of the spoils was enough for Barcelona to advance to the semi-finals after romping to a 4-0 win against Jurgen Klinsmann’s side in the first leg in Catalonia.
Four days after the knockout tie in Germany, City are back on the road with a trip to high-flying Brighton as Guardiola pits his wits against a team he has spent so much time lauding. The following Wednesday, just a week after the second leg against Bayern, City and Arsenal meet at the Etihad for a potential title decider.
The Gunners have already lost two games to City this season but were dumped out of the Europa League in the round of 16, leaving their focus solely fixed on a first league title in 19 years. City’s calendar is a little more crowded.
Man City fixture list with Bayern Munich UCL quarter finals
Guardiola was on the touchline the last time City faced Bayern Munich. However, he was in the opposite dugout as Sergio Aguero inspired the Sky Blues to a 3-2 victory from behind in the 2014 Champions League group stage.
These clubs have met each other on six occasions previous occasions, but this will be the first knockout tie contested by the pair.