Manchester City relaunch their defense of their Champions League title with a trip to Denmark to face Copenhagen this evening.
Pep Guardiola’s side are starting to be on top form again after a mixed start to the season and now appear to be the team to beat in Europe.
City have a perfect record in 2024, having won ten consecutive matches in all competitions and have not lost since the start of December.
Copenhagen beat Manchester United to reach the last 16, but rivals the Red Devils will prove a much sterner test.
Copenhagen vs Man City: Explain
City have won their last eight Champions League matches, the longest run by an English team 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 win the trophy for the very first time.
But curiously, despite being reigning champions, City have not won any of their last five away games in the last 16 of the competition.
Guardiola’s men have drawn four and lost one – having not won since their 5-0 victory over Sporting Lisbon in the round of 16 in 2021-22.
In last season’s final, City eliminated RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid after drawing all three away matches 1-1.
The Etihad team don’t have the best memories of Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium either, 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 saw a goal ruled out by VAR in a scoreless stalemate.
- Manchester City have never won against a Danish opponent in a major European competition, drawing against FC Copenhagen in 2009 (UEFA Cup) and 2022 (UEFA Champions League), and losing to Aalborg BK in 2009 (UEFA Cup ). However, they won 1-0 at FC Midtjylland in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup qualifiers.
- Manchester City have won their last eight UEFA Champions League matches, the longest run by an English team in European Cup/Champions League history. The last team to have a longer run was FC Bayern München between 2019 and 2020 (15).
- FC Copenhagen have never beaten Manchester City in four previous meetings in all competitions (D2 L2), and have drawn both of their home matches against the Citizens (2-2 in the 2008 UEFA Cup). -09, 0-0 in the UEFA Champions League last season).
Copenhagen vs Man City: What was said?
City boss Guardiola has all but ruled out the possibility of his side winning a successive treble this season.
“Yeah, seven-tuple [City will do it seven times],” he said. “It’s a fairy tale. It’s more complicated than that.
He added: “We have a 99.99% chance of not winning the treble because it has never been done.
“So the chances of doing it again are like that. If it were easy, another team – United at the time – would do it again. What I love is the satisfaction of celebrating at Luton Town when we were struggling. [winning 2-1 after being behind in December] or beat Brentford [3-1 last week] whereas we didn’t do it last season.
“The players know how difficult it is and how difficult it will be. What I like is that we are still here and I hope that we arrive in March and April with the same feeling of fighting for the titles in May. That’s the target.
- Danish teams have lost their three home European Cup/UEFA Champions League matches against the 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 only FC Copenhagen’s second appearance in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. The club was eliminated by Chelsea in the round of 16 in 2010-11 (0-2 at home, 0-0 away).
- Manchester City have averaged 70.4% possession in the UEFA Champions League this season; the most on any side. Indeed, there are only five other recorded cases (since 2003-04) of a team averaging higher than this during 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 suspended Lukas Lerager, while Davit Khocholava and Theo Sander are both injured.
Birger Meling also remains doubtful, but Oscar Hojlund – brother of Man United’s Rasmus Hojlund – could be in contention to start.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Runarsson and Nottingham Forest loanee Scott McKenna could also feature.
City have no new injury problems to contend with, but Kevin De Bruyne is likely to return from the start.
- Roony Bardghji, 18, scored FC Copenhagen’s winning goal against Manchester United in the group stage this season. The only teenager to have scored 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 matches for Manchester City (5 goals, 1 assist), although he has only started one of those matches. Overall, he is averaging a goal or assist every 62 minutes in the competition, and one every 31 minutes so far this season.
- Rodri has made more assists than any other player in the UEFA Champions League this season (100), and he also tops the league table this season for successful passes into the opposition’s 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 Parken Stadium scheduled for 8pm UK time.
Adrian Durham will be your presenter, while commentary will come from Jim Proudfoot and former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce.
talkSPORT.com will also provide the best reaction.
To tune into talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 via the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, via your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.