A long trip to the Ukraine for Man City on Wednesday as they face Dynamo Kiev. How will they fare? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look for us.
Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport Europe
Manchester City thrust another deep dagger into the heart of the FA Cup at the weekend when fielding a quasi-youth side in their 5-1 mauling by Chelsea but this is the trophy they truly covet.
Resting players on Sunday was entirely with this match in mind. A long trip to Ukraine isn’t for the faint-hearted and the club clearly wanted their players in tip-top condition for this crucial match.
Manchester City have never gone past this round but this tie against Dynamo Kiev provides them with an outstanding opportunity to reach the last eight of Europe’s premier tournament.
Domestically it’s been a frustrating season for the Manchester club. They may be in the League Cup Final on Sunday against Liverpool but their league form hasn’t been good enough.
City won their first five Premier League games of the season and went odds on for the title. Since then in mid-September they’ve won back to back games just once (in October) and have dropped to fourth place in the table with seven defeats to their name.
In this competition though they have a lot to boast about. After all the huffing and puffing of recent seasons at the group stage, this time round they mastered a very tough group.
When the draw was made in August it looked another enormous task for the Manchester club with Juventus, Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach in the section. To qualify from the group was excellent, to win the group was outstanding.
City’s away performances in Group D bode very well for here. They went to Sevilla and won 3-1 and went to Germany and beat Gladbach 2-1. On that form they are serious contenders here.
Dynamo Kiev qualified from Group G. Compared to City’s group it was a lot weaker. For starters, Mourinho 2015/16 era Chelsea won it, Porto were disappointing while Maccabi Tel Aviv may have been one of the worst sides to ever make the group stage.
Kiev won just one of their three home matches in the group (a paltry 1-0 win over awful Maccabi) while they drew with Chelsea and Porto in the other matches.
The club have been on their winter break and haven’t played a competitive match since that aforementioned 1-0 win over Maccabi on December 9th.
I had a quick look at how the winter break teams performed and while not conclusive it’s not really a positive stat. Only FC Midtjylland came off a long break to win in the Champions League and Europa League last week and there were defeats for Zenit, Molde and FC Krasnodar.
There’s probably enough there within those findings to take a negative view on Kiev and as it chimes with the rest of my thinking I’ll go along with that.
It’s a Man City win here for me at 6/5. They’ve looked shit hot in the Champions League this season and the players seem up for it. I’ll also have a wee nibble on a 2-0 City win at a massive 21/2 with Bet Victor. This side went to Sevilla and scored three and notched twice against Gladbach on their travels.
Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City – Manchester City to win (6/5 William Hill)
Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City – Manchester City to win 2-0 (21/2 BetVictor)
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