Berlin, Aug. 22,
(GNA/dpa) – Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach look set to beef up
the English and German contingents in the Champions League group stage.
Both go into home
return legs in the play-offs following clear away wins a week ago, while Monaco
and Legia Warsaw are two other teams with leads after first-leg away victories.
Sergio Aguero scored
a hat-trick as City hammered Steaua on their home ground and notched two more
in a 4-1 win at Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday as Pep Guardiola’s
side warmed up for Wednesday’s return leg.
Guardiola will rest
some players but it is not thought out-of-favour Joe Hart will return in goal.
Hart has been linked in the British media with a move to Everton while City are
expected to seal the signing of Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo this week.
“We’re going to
change some things,” Guardiola was quoted by the Mirror.
“I’m going to
sit down with my people and see which players need more training than playing.
“We’ll also see
which players have more minutes in their legs. But we’re not there to have fun.
We’re there to win the game, to be serious and to prepare.”
Moenchengladbach hold a 3-1 advantage as they take on Young Boys Bern, hoping to
join fellow Germans Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in
the group stage.
to beat Drochtersen/Assel 1-0 at the fourth-tier side in the first round of the
German Cup on Saturday but are confident of finishing the job against their
Swiss opponents on Wednesday to go into the group stage for a second successive
goalscorer Julian Korb told the club’s website: “With our home fans behind
us we want to complete the step into the group stage.”
Monaco are 2-1 up as
they entertain Spain’s Villarreal, while Legia hold a 2-0 advantage over
visiting Irish side Dundalk, with both games on Tuesday.
Celtic meanwhile take a 5-2 lead to Israel’s Hapoel Beer-Sheva on Tuesday, also
boosted by a 4-2 victory over St Johnstone on Saturday.
side will not be complacent despite the three-goal advantage, assistant manager
Chris Davies said.
“We have been
very clear with the players. They are very focused and yesterday we had an
opportunity where we could have possibly rotated some players but we
didn’t,” Davies told the club’s website.
“We chose to
keep them in, win the game and keep that winning mentality and run going.”
Davies said Hapoel
were analysed and the first leg analysed in detail and “we have a game
plan for how we think the game is going to go and how we think we have can have
Ludogorets are meanwhile 2-0 up going to Czech side Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday,
while Copenhagen defend a 1-0 lead at Apoel Nicosia on Wednesday.
Other ties are all
square: Roma host Porto Tuesday with the sides 1-1, while on Wednesday Rostov
meet Ajax, and Salzburg entertain Dinamo Zagreb, with both at 1-1.
The Champions League
group stage draw is in Monaco at 1600 GMT Thursday