City winger Navas faces Sevilla reunion in Champions League
Oct. 20, 2015
MILAN (AP) — Sevilla will find a familiar face on its trip to northern England.
Manchester City midfielder Jesus Navas will face Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday, about two years after leaving his hometown club for the Premier League.
"It's going to be very emotional for me because it is the club I will support all my life and the club that gave me everything," said Navas, who made 393 appearances and scored 34 goals while helping Sevilla win two UEFA Cups and two Copa del Rey titles.
"We'll have to be very focused mentally because it will be difficult, but we have to go out there looking for the three points," Navas said on Sevilla's club radio station. "I always want to play and even more so against Sevilla because of all that it means to me. My family will come because they don't want to miss such a special match."
Both clubs come into the match with three points after both lost to Juventus.
The Italian champions will be looking to maintain their perfect record in Group D when they host last-place Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Here are some things to know about Wednesday's matches:
NO AGUERO? NO PROBLEM
When Manchester City resumed Premier League action after the international break against Bournemouth on Saturday, it was without striker Sergio Aguero and influential playmaker David Silva, who had sustained injuries on international duty.
Those two absences would be enough to derail most teams, but City routed Bournemouth 5-1. Raheem Sterling scored a first-half hat trick and Wilfried Bony, spearheading the City attack in Aguero's absence, netted twice.
Three points on Wednesday are needed for City to get out of the group.
Sevilla couldn't pick a more difficult moment for a trip to face the Premier League leaders.
Sevilla coach Unai Emery led the club to back-to-back Europa League trophies the past two seasons. But the Andalusian side has struggled to adjust to the departure of striker Carlos Bacca and Aleix Vidal, and Emery has yet to find a way to get the most of new arrivals like striker Fernando Llorente.
Sevilla has only two wins in eight Spanish league matches, although one was a 2-1 victory over Barcelona to avenge its loss in the UEFA Super Cup.
Llorente has made the trip to England after missing the last four games because of a muscle injury. Midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli also traveled after missing the last match, a 1-1 draw at Eibar.
SOARING IN EUROPE
Juventus is flying in the Champions League with two wins, but it's a different story on the domestic front.
The four-time defending champions are 14th in Serie A after winning only two of their first eight matches.
"Maybe we have a bit of 'performance anxiety' in the league after our slow start," Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci said. "In Europe, you face teams which play openly and that allows us to bring out all our qualities, as happened against City and Sevilla.
"Victory on Wednesday would be an important step, but anything can happen in the Champions League. Borussia is up and running again after a difficult start and we're expecting a lively game."
Juventus can once again count on the backing of a sold-out stadium. And it has an impressive European record at Juventus Stadium, where it is on a 14-match unbeaten run in UEFA competition.
Although that last loss came against German opposition — Bayern Munich in April 2013 in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
With four consecutive Bundesliga wins under interim coach Andre Schubert, Borussia Moenchengladbach has turned around what began as a miserable season with five straight losses.
After crushing Eintracht 5-1 in Frankfurt, 'Gladbach hopes its newly regained form will also carry over to the Champions League, where the team is without points after two matches. Another loss would probably end its hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.
Moenchengladbach was pleased with its display against Manchester City despite the 2-1 loss.
"We want to show that we can hold our own against the big teams as well," said Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who is playing with a special face mask after breaking his nose. "We have a lot of confidence at the moment and we are playing with courage and impudence, we are not easy to figure out.
"Everything is coming together now."
Although Schubert has revived the team, 'Gladbach is still looking for a permanent coach.