MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) analyses Manchester City’s Champions League dust-up with Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday night.
Man City v Dynamo Kiev | Tuesday 19.45 | BT Sport Europe
With nine games left to play in the Premier League, Manchester City trail table-topping Leicester by 12 points – let that sink in…
The Citizens conceded defeat in the title race on Saturday following a meek 0-0 at relegation-haunted Norwich but Manuel Pellegrini’s men have turned on the style in Europe this season and now a first taste of quarter-final action beckons.
City put in another commanding performance on their Champions League travels this term to dispatch Dynamo Kiev 3-1 in Ukraine three weeks ago and progress should prove routine on Tuesday night – quotes of 50/1 for the visitors to qualify highlight the magnitude of their task
The Premier League outfit could and should have won by a greater margin in their first meeting and with outgoing boss Pellegrini clearly prioritising City’s Champions League campaign, the difference between their domestic duels and continental clashes has been chalk and cheese.
I’ve paid the price for opposing the Citizens at Gladbach, Sevilla and Dynamo this term. However, I’m willing to invest my faith and cash in the Sky Blues completing their last-16 job with a home success despite a Manchester derby on the horizon this Sunday.
City have taken top honours in five of their seven Champions League games this season, scoring at least twice in five of their most recent six. The hosts have come out on top in 13 of their 17 Etihad outings since October and only failed to notch once in front of their home supporters all season.
But if Pellegrini’s troops are going to seal their last-eight place with a strong performance, keeping a clean sheet may be problematic. It’s nearly five years since City shutout Champions League opposition at the Etihad (one clean sheet in 17) with the hosts stopping their opposition scoring just twice in 31 European outings.
All five of Man City’s Champions League triumphs this season have arrived alongside a winning Both Teams To Score bet, as have 10 of their last 11 victories in this competition dating back to 2013. Include all competitions and 11 of City’s last 13 home wins have come despite conceding whilst 18 of their recent 19 Etihad outings have featured three or more goals.
Of course, it’s quite possible that this encounter could fizzle out with Dynamo possibly preferring to focus on securing a successful defence of their Ukrainian title but even so, it’s hard to imagine the capital club grabbing an unexpected second leg win.
Dynamo have W4-D7-L23 in their last 34 away Champions League ties, have W0-D2-L11 in England – never scoring more than once – and must score at least three goals to stand any chance of progression.
Sergiy Rebrov is sweating on the fitness of Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleksandr Rybka and Sergiy Sydorchuk with Mykyta Burda, Mykola Morozyuk, Serhiy Myakushko, Radosav Petrovic, Serhiy Rybalka and Junior Moraes all ruled out, so the visitors’ team news isn’t ideal, either.
However, Kiev have not failed to net on road since August, as well as in each of their last 11 Champions League away trips, and should be capable of enhancing that record if they take an offensive approach in Manchester.
I couldn’t put anyone off the 23/10 (888) on Manchester City winning and both teams scoring but seeing as the tie is as good as dead, I’m taking a small stakes approach and chucking a couple of quid at the correct score market.
If, like me, you believe City will conquer the second leg but concede along the way, backing the 2-1 (8/1 BetVictor) 3-1 (13/1 BetVictor) and 4-1 (25/1 BetVictor) correct scores could land us a winner at a decent price.
Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev – Manchester City to win 2-1 (8/1 BetVictor)
Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev – Manchester City to win 3-1 (13/1 BetVictor)
Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev – Manchester City to win 4-1 (25/1 BetVictor)
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