Mancini's men enjoy perfect preparation for Bayern
Manchester City 2
No longer is Manchester City's relationship with Bayern Munich one of hoping for a degree of vicarious pleasure from the Bavarian club's brushes with the team from Old Trafford.
Four days after United's Champions League final win over Bayern in 1999, City had a final of their own, beating Gillingham on penalties in the play-off final at Wembley to return to the second tier of English football. Twelve years on, they head to the Allianz Arena for the first time with only goal difference keeping them off the top of the Premier League.
If City have had a superb start to the season, Bayern, with nine straight victories, including an impressive 2-0 win at Villarreal in their Champions League opener, and no goals conceded in nearly 14 hours of football, are not doing too badly either.
Despite speaking of his team's nervousness after the 1-1 draw with Napoli, Roberto Mancini confidently promised a win in Germany tomorrow night. And it appears that having overcome the most dogged of Everton defences, City's players believe that they can outstrip the likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben on their own patch.
"Against Bayern we will try to keep the ball, play with the same style and get a positive result," said playmaker David Silva.
James Milner, whose goal sealed the win, is hoping for his first appearance in Europe's elite competition and feels City are set up perfectly to prosper in the Champions League. "We know it will be tough," he said. "Bayern seem to be playing with confidence but we can beat anyone on our day. We just need to have the confidence to do what we have been doing."
Mancini will assess Nigel de Jong's foot problem this morning, with the Dutchman likely to be fit enough for the bench, while Mario Balotelli, whose goal swung Saturday's match in City's favour, is still suspended. (© Daily Telegraph, London)