Time for Manchester City to step up to the plate
Manchester City V Barcelona, kick off 7.45pm, ITV 1
Back over 2.5 goals at 4/6 with BetVictor
Leverkusen V Paris SG, kick off 7.45pm, Sky Sports 1
Lay Leverkusen at 3.65 with Betfair
Manchester City’s game against Barcelona looks a real blockbuster and the home side does look to have a genuine chance of winning. But they are almost certainly going to have to because it will be very hard to get a result at the Camp Nou. You can get nearly 2/1 against the home win, with Boylesports taking a position against Pellegrini’s men. That looks slightly dangerous to me. Barcelona are of course brilliant and are over a bit of a blip, with Lionel Messi firing again. And he scored twice in a 6-0 romp at the weekend. However, apart from the league game against Chelsea, City have been imperious and full of goals at the Etihad, and they do have genuine class. Barcelona are best priced at 7/4 with Betfred and Totesport with the draw a 13/5 chance.
There is going to be an amazing atmosphere at the ground and city’s first team does look to be a genuine contender at this level, although the absence of Sergio Aguero is an obvious blow. However, that’s countered with the possible return of Fernandinho, a player who crucially frees up Toure for his rampaging forward runs. You can lay the away side at 2.56 with Betfair, which would mean that a Man City win or a draw would be a winner, and I would be tempted if Fernandinho is named in the starting line-up. However, goals could be the way to go and recent records suggest that they could come at both ends. Manchester City’s three Champions League home games this season have produced a whopping 17 goals, with both teams scoring on each occasion.Indeed in 20 matches at the Etihad this season, City have scored no less than 74 times.
Visitors Barcelona have only failed to score twice on the road this season, but at the same time, have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 away from the Nou Camp. Little surprise then that Both Teams to Score is just a best price of 8/15 through easyodds.com . Over 3.5 goals, an outcome that would have been met in four of City’s last five Champions League games, is 13/8, although that’s hardly a giveaway price. Overall this is a game to watch and savour but if I was betting I would probably back over 2.5 goals at 4/6 with BetVictor. Lionel Messi will certainly attract support to be First Goalscorer at the 9/2 available with Stan James and Coral, a market in which Yaya Toure looks tasty at 10/1.
Bayer Leverkusen came through their group easily enough, but the poor form of the group’s easy winners Manchester United suggests that might have been the weakest group of all. Paris look close to being the real deal with some believing they area live contenders for the trophy at 14/1. You can lay the Germans at 3.65 on Betfair and that looks at fair bet.Barcelona, Champions League, germany, Manchester City, paris
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