Manchester City must lift themselves against a refreshed Tottenham on Tuesday night.
Pep Guardiola and his squad travelled down to London on Friday ahead of their FA Cup semi-final and will stay until Wednesday in an effort to avoid more travel in what has already been a busy season.
Not only do Spurs have their new stadium to boost them – although Kevin De Bruyne is not buying that – they have also enjoyed three more days to prepare for this first leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie.
Having opened their stadium last Wednesday against Crystal Palace, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have had double the rest of City .
It is not the first time that the Blues have been considerably less fresh than their opponents, given their success in multiple competitions.
Here is how they have coped with that disadvantage in big games since the beginnning of last season.
December 2017: United vs City (-1 day)
In the buildup to the first Manchester derby of last season, United had a home game against CSKA Moscow the day before City played in Kharkiv against Shakhtar Donetsk so not only did the home team play earlier but they also had significantly less travel.
Not that you would have noticed it in the game. An ultra-passive United were tamed in one of the most dominant first-half performances seen between the teams and City’s victory was far more comfortable than the 2-1 scoreline suggests.
January 2018: Liverpool vs City (-4 days)
City travelled to Anfield in the Premier League having played the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Bristol City in midweek, while Liverpool had more than a week to prepare.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were extremely well drilled and inflicted City’s first domestic defeat of the season with a thrilling 4-3 game. However, the late fightback from the Blues that saw them score twice and push for an unlikely equaliser suggests that they still had energy left.
February 2018: City vs Chelsea (-4 days)
City followed up Carabao Cup success with Arsenal with a trip to the Emirates the following Thursday before meeting a Chelsea side at the Etihad that had not played for a week.
A dominant 1-0 win for the home team followed, with Antonio Conte and his players slaughtered for the lack of ambition that saw them walking while supposedly chasing the game and Ilkay Gundogan setting a new league record for the most passes in 90 minutes.
April 2018: City vs United (-4 days)
City’s progress in the Champions League saw them at Anfield before the second derby of the season while United – who has already exited Europe at the hands of Sevilla – plotted revenge.
It looked as though Mourinho’s side had wasted their advantage again as the Blues stormed to a 2-0 lead at half-time that heavily flattered the visitors but a roaring United comeback to see it end 3-2 broke City and cost them what would have been a record for the quickest coronation as Premier League champions.
April 2018: Spurs vs City (-3 days)
City were reeling from three successive defeats as they headed down to Wembley with questions about how they would end the season. A lightning start dispelled any suggestions of the team fizzling out though as they went 2-0 up, and some tactical changes in the second half ensured that they held on for a 3-1 victory.
A day later, they were confirmed Premier League champions when United suffered a shock home defeat to West Brom.
January 2019: City vs Liverpool (-1 day)
There was only one day in this but it still felt like advantage Liverpool as City travelled to Southampton the day after they played a home game against Arsenal in the dense festive fixture list.
Klopp’s team started well in this top-of-the-table clash and should arguably have taken the lead, but moments of quality from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane ensured a 2-1 win against the formbook.
February 2019: City vs Chelsea (-4 days)
City’s relentless march in four competitions saw a league game with Everton unexpectedly squeezed between home matches against Arsenal and Chelsea. Maurizio Sarri’s side have played more games than most this season but they had a rare full week to prepare for their trip to the Etihad after a home game with Huddersfield.
However, the extra time counted for nothing as they were blown away 6-0 by the rampant defending champions.