Hamann believes former side City are closing in on Bayern

Former Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann says Manuel Pellegirni's side will show they can compete with Bayern Munich tonight.

The German champions demolished City in October, with Pep Guardiola's side leaving Manchester with a 3-1 win after goals from Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben. The convincing nature of Bayern's win seemed to show that City still have a little way to go in order to be a force amongst Europe's elite.

But former City and Bayern midfielder Hamann believes that Pellegrini's men will prove their worth at the Allianz Arena tonight, as they seek revenge for their crushing defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

"I don't think the gap is as big as was shown in the first game," Hamann said. "I think it will be a lot tighter in Munich this time. City were taught a bit of a lesson [in the first game]. They got themselves back into the game late on - scored a goal, hit the crossbar - but Bayern were in a different league."

He continued: "City will want to give them a game to get some confidence back, because clearly the defeat to them last time affected them, in the way they lost. I think it was a game where everything went against City. Joe Hart made a mistake - they go 1-0 down - and if you need to change the game against Bayern Munich you know you're up against it. Bayern did it to Barcelona last year, they rip through teams. They are an outstanding side."

A big win for City will take them above Bayern and into first place in Group D, which will give them a knockout tie against a runner up from another group. Finishing in second place will give them a tougher passage to the later rounds of the tournament. Of course, City have never made it past the group stage after two failed attempts under Roberto Mancini, so whatever happens in Munich tonight, Pellegrini has already taken City further.

City's last trip to the Allianz Arena ended in chaos, as a 2-0 loss was compounded by a blazing row between Mancini and then City striker Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian star was accused of refusing to come off the bench, resulting in a heated touchline exchange between the two. Pellegrini will be hoping for a better outcome tonight, as well as hoping to prove Hamann right in his assertion that City can compete with Guardiola's revered side.

image: © jiazi

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