Bayern Munich-Manchester City Preview: Toure set to face injury-hit hosts

Pep Guardiola’s side are set to be without several key players for the visit of Manuel Pellegrini’s Premier League champions

Manchester City are hoping to have Yaya Toure available when they open their Group E campaign with a daunting trip to face Bayern Munich.

The Premier League champions are paired with their German counterparts in Europe’s elite competition for the second season running.

Having bowed out at the group stage in their previous two Champions League excursions, the signs were ominous as Bayern trampled early season optimism at the Etihad Stadium last term, leaving Manchester with a swashbuckling 3-1 victory. 

But City bounced back to win their next four European games, including a thrilling 3-2 comeback triumph at the Allianz Arena.

A last-16 exit at the hands of another heavyweight, Barcelona followed, although City captain Vincent Kompany believes his team-mates have nothing to prove as they prepare for a return to Bavaria.

“We’re confident,” the Belgium defender told reporters. “This is the first game of the Champions League, an away game against one of the hardest teams to play against in the world right now.

“But we should take confidence out of the last game we played in Munich. We’re up for the challenge anyway.

“I don’t think we’ve got a point to prove in Europe. I dissociate Europe from the league. But I just want to win games.”

Kompany missed the previous trip to Munich and City will be without another key defender on Wednesday night due to Pablo Zabaleta’s red card at Camp Nou in March.

Bacary Sagna is poised to step in at right-back, while manager Manuel Pellegrini should welcome back Toure after the midfielder sat out last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal having returned fatigued from international duty with Cote d’Ivoire.

Toure could capitalise on a troubling injury list for Pellegrini’s opposite number Pep Guardiola in central areas.

Talisman Bastian Schweinsteiger and long-term victims Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez (all knee) remain on the sidelines. And Guardiola voiced concerns over the weekend that too great a burden could fall on fellow Spaniard Xabi Alonso.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder has enjoyed a seamless transition since his close-season move to Bayern and impressed in Saturday’s 2-0 Bundesliga win over Stuttgart.

Bayern’s injury problems are not limited to midfield, with further doubts surrounding influential attacking duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Robben missed training on Sunday with a knee complaint and match fitness could be an issue for Ribery, despite the former France international marking his season debut with a goal from the bench at the weekend.

Defender Holger Badstuber requires surgery after tearing a thigh muscle against Stuttgart to hand Guardiola more problems as Bayern attempt to bounce back from the disappointment of being thrashed 5-0 on aggregate by Real in the Champions League semi-finals last season.

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