The hard-boiled footballing competition, UEFA Champions League is back in action for the fans of Manchester. City will be travelling to Germany in order to face Bundesliga mini-giants, Schalke 04.
A peach of an outing what is expected to be, the onus will depend of playmakers to study the game and implement the same on the pitch. The aliens will depend on the like of Ilkay Gundogan to keep their winning wheel on the wagon while the hosts will shoulder upon Sebastian Rudy to save them from being axed by ruthless visitors.
It is fair to say that the competition between the two will be everything but unhealthy. The battle of two German wizards, old friends now turning competitors will be a gem to watch.
The youth graduate of Schalke academy, Gundogan will be excited to be back in Germany,to say the least. The midfielder was cut loose by Schalke in his early days of football due to his physical problem and growth.
But with the drops of sand, Gundogan has developed in all the facets which are a prerequisite for a midfielder. The 28-year-old has developed under Pep Guardiola in an startling manner. And why not when you are playing under the manager you’ve always craved to be playing under.
While leaving Borussia Dortmund Gundogan had said, “I changed mainly because of Pep Guardiola, because I’ve always admired how his teams played, whether with Barcelona or Bayern Munich.”
Be it his ability to provide key passes in the vital moments of the game of his presence in the right time at the right place. The finishing skills of the German will be as scary for Schalke as his passes through the defenders.
Another German who has the ability to keep his opponents on pins and needles will be Sebastian Rudy. Playing on the central midfield Rudy is as much a threat to Manchester City as Ilkay Gundogan to Schalke.
The 28-year-old central midfielder has a liking towards the goal from distance which means Ederson will have to be ready for long shots torture. Any space given to the German will be one step away from Champions League quarter finals for Manchester City.
City’s mildly vulnerable defence will be put into test by the German via his crosses into the penalty area. Even his never fickly concentration will make City’s movement towards the goal mark difficult.
The former Bayern Munich player and a talked about candidate of Manchester City’s January signing Rudy will have to be the grace and honor of Schalke in order to cause a heavy upset to the Premier League Champions.