Champions League: FC Steaua Bucharest Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Manchester City
The fourth qualifying round of the Champions League is when some of the renowned European heavyweights make their first appearance in the competition and this season is no exception. On Tuesday, Manchester City, last yearÃ‚Â´s semi-finalists, will kick off their new Champions League campaign, facing the Romanian team Steaua Bucharest. The Romanians have already played six competitive matches and they did great in them, which suggests they might not be as chanceless against the Citizens as thy seem. Starting at 8:45 PM (CET), the clash FC Steaua Bucharest vs. Manchester City will be played at the National Arena in Bucharest.
FC Steaua Bucharest
The most successful Romanian team, Steaua are 26-time Romanian champions and they also won the Champions League once (in 1986), which is an achievement their English rivals are yet to produce. However, the past years have not been that successful for Steaua. Bucharest failed to make it to the Champions League group stage in several consecutive years and they are not as dominant in their domestic league as they used to be either. But this seasonÃ‚Â´s seems to be quite promising. ReghecampfÃ‚Â´s men have already played six matches and remain unbeaten with five wins and one draw. They eliminated strong Czech side Sparta Prague in the previous qualifying round and they have been excellent in the Romanian league so far. Despite these great recent results, Bucharest are heading into the Tuesday game against Manchester as huge underdogs but it can actually be their advantage as they have nothing to lose in this encounter and they will not be under any pressure.
Manchester reached the semi-final stage in the Champions League last year but their Premier League campaign topped with fourth-place finish was quite disappointing. Therefore, the teamÃ‚Â´s management spent another crazy amount of money on new signings and the new coach Pep Guardiola. Hoping to produce great results in all competitions, the team signed a number of world-class players including Stones, Gundogan, Nolito and SanÃƒÂ©. On paper, Manchester are definitely stronger than they were last year but the performance they gave in the pre-season preparatory matches did not correspond with this assumption as the Citizens failed to win any of their friendly games. On Saturday, GuardiolaÃ‚Â´s men kicked off their Premier League campaign and they did manage to meet the expectations and beat Sunderland but it was only thanks to a late own goal by SunderlandÃ‚Â´s defender McNair why they actually claimed the 2:1 win. Obviously, Manchester are not in their best shape at the beginning of the new season and they are yet to gel together as a team.
Manchester City are looking to sneak through the Champions League fourth qualifying round and secure their spot in the group stage after they failed to qualify automatically due to their disappointing fourth-place finish in the past Premier League season. To book their spot among the European football elite, they need to eliminate Steaua Bucharest who might look like an easy prey for them but the Romanians are in a formidable form at the moment. Therefore, their upcoming encounter might actually be quite a tricky affair. Will Steaua make the home advantage count and claim a good result in the first leg? Or will Manchester prove their quality and emerge victorious in the game? We will know by Tuesday night.
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