Manchester City are facing Bundesliga form team Borussia Monchengladbach at the worst possible time according to midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
The Sky Blues must beat the German side and hope Juventus lose to Sevilla, if they are to progress as the winners of their group.
But Gladbach are on a fantastic run of form at present and head to the Etihad off the back of a memorable 3-1 victory over reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
However, speaking to the official Manchester City website, De Bruyne admitted that, despite a slow start to the season, their current run is not a massive surprise.
“They are now playing the way they were last season, as their win over Bayern proves. They have recovered well from a difficult start,” he said.
“It’s going to be difficult to finish as group winners but we have to give ourselves the best chance of that happening by beating Monchengladbach.”
Above all else the Belgian admitted that he was eager for the City team to respond to their recent set backs and lay down a marker for the knockout phase to come.
“We need to react to our loss at Stoke so this is an opportunity for us to do that quickly,” he explained.
Gladbach head to the Etihad having gone 12 games unbeaten in all competitions.
But Manchester City will be optimistic about their chances, given that the Sky Blues were the last team to inflict defeat on the German side.
Die Fohlen have also enjoyed six games unbeaten on the road heading into this encounter and recently came from 3-1 down with just half an hour remaining to snatch a draw away at Hoffenheim.
A repeat result against City would end Manuel Pellegrini’s hopes of topping the group.