Manchester

Erling Haaland has a new challenger at Man City as Pep Guardiola ponders changes – Alex Brotherton

Pep Guardiola's side will look to build on a superb start to their group stage campaign, with a thumping 4-0 win at Sevilla a clear indication of their intentions in Europe's premier club competition this season. City didn't play at the weekend due to the postponement of all Premier League matches, meaning that those searching for fitness have had extra time to recover.

City last faced Dortmund in 2021, when they prevailed 4-2 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage. The Blues have quite a few links to their German opponents four to be exact as Haaland, Ilkay Gundogan, Manuel Akanji and Sergio Gomez have all called Signal Iduna Park home.

Here are five things to look out for when City take to the Etihad pitch on Wednesday.

Can Dortmund contain Haaland?

Borussia Dortmund helped create the goal-scoring monster that is Haaland, but now they are going to have to try to stop him. The 22-year old scored a remarkable 86 goals in 89 appearances for BVB, and with 12 already in the bag after just seven outings for City he is showing now signs of losing that scoring touch.

All of City's opponents so far this season have failed to contain Haaland; Bournemouth managed to stop him from scoring but he still managed set up Gundogan for City's opener. It will be interesting to see if Dortmund have a plan for coping with their former striker, or whether their efforts to restrict his influence prove as useless as everybody else's.

City's inside knowledge

On a similar theme, Guardiola revealed that he has spoken to the four former Dortmund players in his squad about the German side and how they might go about tackling them.

Of course City's gameplan won't revolve entirely around what the quartet garnered from their experiences in North Rhine-Westphalia, but it will be interesting to see what tactical tweaks or adjustments Guardiola makes. They might be needed.

Centre-back decisions

City will line up for a Premier League match at Wolves about 62 hours after the conclusion of the Dortmund encounter, and on Tuesday Guardiola admitted that he will take that into consideration when picking his starting line-up.

However, he made it clear that he will be picking the team he thinks is most capable of beating Dortmund. He confirmed that John Stones has returned to training and is fit, meaning that the City boss has four centre-back options to pick from.

Stones, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji make up quite the group of defenders, but only two can start.

Jack's back

Jack Grealish made his return from injury in the 4-0 defeat of Sevilla last week, impressing during his 62-minute outing. At times he looked lively and direct and at others he looked composed and patient, something that Guardiola values extremely highly in Champions League matches in which opponents can look to hurt City on the counter-attack.

Whether we get the flashy Grealish or the controlled Grealish, he looks set to start at the Etihad on Wednesday either way.

One to look out for

Jude Bellingham caused City plenty of problems when the two sides met in 2021. The young English midfielder scored the opening goal in the second leg to give Dortmund the advantage, and in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium he was unfortunate to have a goal rule out for a foul on Ederson.