The champions are back in action and must be exceedingly confident of brushing through the round of 16 as they look to retain their status as European champions. Manchester City romped their way through the group stages before Christmas, one of only two teams to claim the maximum 18 points, and were rewarded with what was perhaps the most favorable of draws against Copenhagen.
The Danish champions performed remarkably to even reach the knockout stages, earning a famous win over Manchester United in Parken before pipping Galatasaray to second place in the final round of fixtures. Those achievements were impressive indeed, but would be utterly eclipsed if Copenhagen can quell Erling Haaland and company, even only in the first leg. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know.
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- Date: Tuesday, Feb. 13 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Parken — Copenhagen
- Live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: Copenhagen +1100; Draw +550; Manchester City – 500
Copenhagen: How do you go about achieving what might be the greatest upset in the modern history of the Champions League? Copenhagen players would argue that they cannot afford to simply allow City to dominate possession and hope that they can hold firm. In their 2-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich before Christmas they did get close to balancing out the game with a 42.5 percent possession figure.
“We experienced against Bayern a game where they had the ball a lot more than we wanted,” said star midfielder Rasmus Falk, “but we are also prepared to have to defend with every man in these games. I think we have been confident in all six games we have played. Tomorrow I hope that we have the opportunity to take the ball to ourselves and show what we stand for.”
With the Danish SuperLiga on its winter break until the weekend, Copenhagen have built their match fitness in a string of friendlies, the most recent of which have seen them defeated by Brondby before beating Molde 3-1.
Manchester City: Watching City’s last two games will surely have given Copenhagen boss Jacob Neestrup a few sleepless nights. Both Brentford and Everton might have felt they got about as much right as could be reasonably expected against the world champions only to be brushed aside in the second half. Pep Guardiola might insist there is a “99.99 percent” chance that City won’t repeat the Treble but on their current form it is hard to see who could stop them in league play or knockout football.
It’s the best this competition has to offer against the 16th best. Success for Copenhagen would be this tie not being over when the two teams meet in Manchester. It is hard to believe even that would happen. PICK: Copenhagen 0, Manchester City 3
Champions League TV schedule
All times Eastern