Manchester City vs Bayern Munich: Three key players to look out for

The Hard Tackle lists three players who can singlehandedly turn the game on its head when Manchester City and Bayern Munich meet on Tuesday.

The UEFA Champions League resumes this midweek with the quarter-finals of the 2022/23 season. And the latest stage will kick off with two simultaneous matches on Tuesday night. One of the games will feature Benfica and Inter Milan, with the marquee fixture being Manchester City vs Bayern Munich.

Manchester City reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after swatting RB Leipzig in the Round of 16. That came after they had topped their group in the competition’s opening stage. And it looks like Pep Guardiola might finally deliver the elusive European glory at the Etihad.

Up next for Guardiola and his charges will be his former employers. Bayern Munich cruised through the group stage and made short work of Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16. And the straightforward victory over PSG helped them lay down the marker for the other contenders for the Champions League title.

With two of the favourites meeting this early in the knockout stages, the tie can throw the draw wide open. And as we get closer to the highly-anticipated fixture, The Hard Tackle looks at three players who can singlehandedly swing the game.

Bernardo Silva

Our list starts with the player who reserves his best for the biggest games. And amid uncertainties surrounding his future, he remains a pivotal figure for Manchester City. We are, of course, talking about Bernardo Silva.

The Portuguese international has been eager to leave Manchester City for two successive summer transfer windows. But he has not let the failure to seal a departure turn his head and has continued to make his mark for Manchester City. Meanwhile, recent reports have linked him with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old is a unique player who brings different skill sets to the table. And Silva’s ability to find teammates in pockets of space will help him create the openings. At the same time, he can be direct when the opportunities present themselves.

Silva will also look to veer into scoring areas to help out Erling Haaland. And his ability to ghost around on the pitch can catch the Bayern Munich defence unaware. Expect the former AS Monaco playmaker to wreak havoc, which might alert Barcelona and Real Madrid, among others.

Joshua Kimmich

The next two players on our list are from Bayern Munich. While Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, and Rodri will invariably have big roles to play for Manchester City, we have picked the Bayern stars due to the challenge at hand for the visiting team. First up is Joshua Kimmich.

The German international has been donning the armband for Bayern Munich in Manuel Neuer’s absence. And he will need to play out of his skin to inspire the Bundesliga champions to a clinical result. In particular, his defensive nous will take centre stage on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old reads the game well and can nip the opposition’s moves in the bud. If he is on song, Kevin De Bruyne will have a hard time splitting open the Bayern Munich defence behind Kimmich. In addition, the German midfielder’s dead-ball abilities will also come to the fore.

With Manchester City not having the tallest team, Kimmich’s deliveries should be an opportunity for Bayern Munich to trouble the hosts. Meanwhile, his passing in open play will also help create openings for the visitors. Expect Bayern to go home with an advantage if Kimmich rises to the occasion.

Jamal Musiala

As iterated earlier, our list ends with a Bayern Munich star today. Players like Dayot Upamecano, Leroy Sane, and Thomas Muller are among those who will have the spotlight on them. But we have picked Jamal Musiala for his unpredictability.

The German international is one of the best young players in the world. But he endured a blip after returning from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with his strong start to the season ending in a whimper. However, the youngster has gradually picked up form and established himself as a pivotal figure for Bayern Munich.

The 20-year-old revels in looking for goalscoring opportunities, with clinical finishing his greatest asset. In addition, his link-up play is strong, and he can string short passes that should trouble the Manchester City defence. Meanwhile, his all-round gameplay makes him the go-to pick for this list.

Musiala does not avoid defensive responsibility and reads the game well to thwart build-up plays high up the pitch. And if he can press well, Manchester City will have a frustrating night at work. Expect the prodigious attacker to take the game by storm on Tuesday at the Etihad.

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