Tonight night the Etihad Stadium will see Manchester City host German champions Borussia Dortmund in their second game of this season’s Champion’s League.
Dortmund secured the Bundesliga Title last season in no small part thanks to star striker Robert Lewandowski. Whilst rumours circulated of a possible transfer to Manchester this summer, to rivals United no less, Lewandowski continues to lead the line for the German side.
The Polish international was unimpressive on his last visit to England, where his side lost 2-1 to Arsenal in November 2011. However, almost a year on, the striker the striker can boast scoring 30 goals in just 46 appearances for Dortmund last season, making him the league’s top goalscorer.
He scored a hat trick in the DFB Cup final against Bayern Munich and, after a short-lived spell in Euro 2012 for Poland, in which he scored their opening goal, a move to United was reportedly a “done deal”, after City’s archrivals secured the services of his former Dortmund teammate Shinji Kagawa.
Whilst the striker remains in the Bundesliga, he has yet to sign a contract extension with Dortmund – his current deal expires in 2014 and with just over a year left, the striker may seek a lucrative move abroad.
The 6ft striker leads the line as a more traditional ‘target-man’ but his technical ability on the ball makes him more than just an aerial threat. His physicality makes him a dangerous threat in the box and his intelligence off the ball often sees him punish opposing defences.
City have a difficult task on their hands on Wednesday night – Lewandowski is just one of Dortmund’s danger-men. The in-form Mario Gotze will likely cause problems in the centre of the park for City who, without Nigel De Jong’s protection of the back four, have looked vulnerable.
However, Borussia prefer to play with a high defensive line which leaves them vulnerable to intelligent runs and direct balls over the top, something which City are adept at. The German’s may get punished should they leave too much space in behind their defence, for the likes of Sergio Aguero or Carlos Tevez to exploit.
City will be looking to atone for their late defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu to Real Madrid in the “group of death’s” opening fixture. But they will have to be on their guard against Lewandowski if they intend to make it out the group that contains four clubs that are all champions of their own leagues.
Should City lose they will likely find themselves in trouble – having lost to Madrid who face Dutch champions Ajax tonight. One would assume the Spanish champions will emerge victorious tonight, and a decent win for City would put them on equal points with Dortmund who defeated Ajax in their opening game.