Manchester City restart the defence of their Champions League title with a trip to Denmark to take on Copenhagen this evening.
Pep Guardiola‘s side are beginning to hit top form once again after a mixed start to the season and now look the team to beat in Europe.
City boast a perfect record in 2024, having won ten straight games across all competitions and haven’t lost since the start of December.
Copenhagen overcame Manchester United to reach the knockout stages but the Red Devils’ rivals will prove a much sterner test.
Copenhagen vs Man City: Explain away
City have won their last eight Champions League matches, the longest run by an English side in European Cup/Champions League history.
That run also took them to Istanbul last season, where a 1-0 win over Inter Milan helped them secure the trophy for the first time ever.
But curiously, despite being the defending champions, City haven’t won any of their last five away games in the competition’s knockout stages.
Guardiola’s men have drawn four and lost one – having not won since beating Sporting Lisbon 5-0 away in the round of 16 in 2021-22.
The Etihad outfit also don’t have the best memories at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, having drawn both of their away games there.
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Their last trip to face Byens Hold came a week after a 5-0 win in Manchester but in Denmark, City had Sergio Gomez sent off, missed a penalty and had a goal ruled out by VAR in a goalless stalemate.
- Manchester City have never won away against Danish opposition in major European competition, drawing with FC Copenhagen in 2009 (UEFA Cup) and 2022 (UEFA Champions League), and losing at Aalborg BK in 2009 (UEFA Cup). They did, however, win 1-0 at FC Midtjylland in 2008-09 UEFA Cup qualifying.
- Manchester City have won their last eight UEFA Champions League matches, the longest run by an English side in European Cup/Champions League history. The last team to have a longer run were FC Bayern München between 2019 and 2020 (15).
- FC Copenhagen have never beaten Manchester City in four previous meetings in all competitions (D2 L2), drawing both home matches against the Citizens (2-2 in 2008-09 UEFA Cup, 0-0 in last season’s UEFA Champions League).
Copenhagen vs Man City: What has been said?
City boss Guardiola has all but ruled out the chance of his side claiming a successive treble this season.
“Yeah, seven-tuple [City will do it seven times],” he said. “It’s a fairytale. It’s more complicated than that.”
He added: “We have 99.99% possibility that we are not going to win the treble because it has never been done.
“So the chances to do it again are like this. If it was easy, another team – United at that time – would do it again. What I like is the satisfaction of the celebration at Luton Town when we were in trouble [winning 2-1 after being behind in December] or beating Brentford [3-1 last week] when we didn’t last season.
“The players know how difficult it is and how difficult it will be. What I like is that we are still there and hopefully we arrive in March and April with the same feeling to fight for the titles in May. This is the target.”
- Danish sides have lost all three of their European Cup/UEFA Champions League home games against reigning European champions by an aggregate score of 12-0 – Koge BK 0-5 Bayern Munich in 1976, Aalborg BK 0-3 Manchester United in 2008, and FC Nordsjaelland 0-4 Chelsea in 2012.
- This is just FC Copenhagen’s second appearance in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages – they were eliminated by Chelsea at the round of 16 stage in 2010-11 (0-2 home, 0-0 away).
- Manchester City have averaged 70.4% possession in the UEFA Champions League this season; the most of any side. Indeed, there are only five other instances on record (since 2003-04) of a team averaging more than that in a single campaign – four of which were teams managed by Pep Guardiola (Barcelona in 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and Bayern Munich in 2015-16).
Copenhagen vs Man City: Team news
The hosts are without the suspended Lukas Lerager, while Davit Khocholava and Theo Sander are both injured.
Birger Meling also remains a doubt, but Oscar Hojlund – brother of Man United’s Rasmus Hojlund – could be in line to start.
City have no fresh injury concerns to contend with, but Kevin De Bruyne is likely to come back in from the start.
- 18-year-old Roony Bardghji scored FC Copenhagen’s winner against Manchester United in the group stages this season. The only teenager to score against two different English clubs in the UEFA Champions League is Kylian Mbappé (Manchester City and Liverpool), while Bardghji could be the first to do so in the same season.
- Julián Álvarez has been involved in six goals in his last five UEFA Champions League appearances for Manchester City (5 goals, 1 assist), despite only starting one of these games. Overall, he’s averaging a goal or assist every 62 minutes in the competition, and one every 31 minutes so far this season.
- Rodri has made more line-breaking passes than any other player in the UEFA Champions League this season (100), while he also tops this season’s rankings for successful passes in the opposition half (306), 48 more than any other player.
Copenhagen vs Man City: talkSPORT coverage
This Champions League clash will take place on Tuesday, February 13.
talkSPORT will have live coverage from Denmark, with kick-off at the Parken Stadium scheduled for 8pm UK time.
Adrian Durham will be your presenter, while commentary comes from Jim Proudfoot and former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce.
talkSPORT.com will also provide the best of the reaction as well.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.