Manchester City will face their first big test of the season on Tuesday when they travel to Germany to take on European giant, Bayern Munich. So far, the Blues have fared well against the middle tier of the Premier League, defeating the likes of Bolton, Wigan, and even a strong showing against Spurs. Their only slip ups have come in an away match to Fulham, a draw, and in their first ever Champions League match at home to Napoli when they also drew. Quite wonderfully, this team has yet to face defeat this season. All that could well change in the next few hours.
Bayern Munich away is no easy feat. Just ask Sir Alex Ferguson, whose powerful Manchester United side has yet to beat the German beast in Munich. Bayern star, Frank Ribery is licking his chops and has recently declared his side to be the best he has ever seen in his time in Germany. He seems to be correct in his outlook too. Manchester City's record is very good, with four wins and two draws, but Munich has yet to even draw. They have played ten matches, and they have won ten matches. Incredibly, they have yet to concede a goal this season.
Bayern Munich has recently been criticized for their ultra-attacking style that leaves them short at the back but seemingly this weakness has evaporated. Strength at the back with forwards like Ribery, Arjen Robben, and the next great German star, Thomas Muller, rightly give this side a feeling of invincibility.
The manager of Bayern, Jupp Heynckes is saying all the right things, admitting that Manchester City will be the sternest test of the young season. He is right. This Manchester City side is no joke. Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero, Eden Dzeko, and David Silva will contribute to make this an enthralling match. This is world class football, and this is what the Champions League is all about. This matchup could easily be a quarterfinal or semifinal of the tournament. Both teams also have everything to prove in this match. It is a big test for both sides.
However, realistically I cannot envision Manchester City creating a grand European surprise. Munich is too hard of a place to travel to. Their stadium is fierce and wild. The side play so much more incisive and fluid at home. Manchester City's great stars have merely played with each other for a few weeks and months. Bayern's team has been assembled for years now, and each player is perfectly comfortable with the other.
I predict Manchester City will attempt to pack it in and fight for a draw. This plan will last for about 20 minutes and they will go down a goal. Look for the side to inflict Munich's first goal conceded of the season and bring it back on equal terms by the half, but for Bayern to dominate the second period and come away big winners 4-1.