GNK Dinamo Zagreb travelled to Manchester to face the sky blues at the Etihad Stadium in a mid-week UCL Clash. Just four days after facing Everton at Goodison Park, the reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City hosted Dinamo Zagreb in the second round of the UEFA Champions League group stages. Both teams from Group C, having won decisively against their opponents in the first round, were looking to challenge each other for a win in terms of tactics and technical ability.
With multiple objectives of maintaining a positive rhythm in the Premier League so as to not trail too far behind Liverpool, and perform well in the domestic cups, the challenge for City’s star-studded squad and backroom staff was to ensure the team was in good shape for this mid-week fixture and prepare for the weekend without casualties. In this tactical analysis, we examine how both teams played each other out tactically with an in-depth analysis of specific moments in the game.
With three fixtures in a span of eight days, the periodization of this particular week’s microcycle and the fitness work to keep the players in top shape must have been on Pep Guardiola’s planning right from pre-season. Kevin De Bruyne was brought off at Goodison Park with concerns over an injury, hence why Guardiola felt that City could see this fixture home without him. He was given rest and not even included on the bench.
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