AFTER an excellent draw in Paris last week now Man City aim to eliminate PSG in the second leg of this Champions League Quarter-Final. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) shares his view.
Manchester City v PSG | Tuesday 19:45 | BT Sport Europe
I suppose you should never start a joke with the punchline or give the plot away in the opening chapter of a book, but I'll just cut to the chase and express my surprise at the price of Manchester City.
2/1 at home is a fair bit chunkier than I expected and it's a price I'll try and find a way of getting with in this massive Champions League Quarter-Final match.
I've always felt City would go deep in this competition this season and I think we'll see maximum effort here. They've won the league twice now and winning a third time clearly doesn't inspire some of the key players. This is the next step for them and the club.
In every other Champions League season they've never looked like contenders. Frequently knocked out at the group stages or dismissed with ease in the first knockout round, this is the first time they've been natural diners at the top table.
Their results this season have been impressive. Ok, the home and away defeats to Juventus are of concern but home and away victories over Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach are not to be sniffed at.
In the Last 16 they killed the tie against Dynamo Kiev early on with a comfortable win in Ukraine; something that Chelsea and Porto found beyond them in the group stages.
And then there was last week where they showed a brand of class and determination that's been mostly missing from the side since the autumn.
A 2-2 draw in Paris merits huge respect and it was no fluke result. With the two away goals by their side also they've put the ball in PSG's court.
I can't figure out whether Laurent Blanc's side winning their domestic league a month ago is a plus or a negative. Yes, it allows them to focus solely on this tie but is there a case to suggest they'll lose a bit of edge not being involved in competitive fixtures in recent weeks? Food for thought.
PSG are probably a couple of years ahead of City in development hence the fact this is their fourth consecutive trip to the Last 8 of the Champions League. Sometimes life doesn't go to plan though.
On paper the French side have performed better than City in the Champions League this season but not by much. They had an easier group with Malmo and Shakhtar Donetsk joining them and Real Madrid in Group A.
They managed a point at home to Real while losing to them away and had enough about them to see of the other two sides home and away in the group.
Chelsea were their Last 16 opponents and two 2-1 wins set them up for this tie against another English side. As short as 13/10 in places, it's not for me.
I just don't think there's a big enough gap in ability as there are at the prices so it's Manchester City for me who offer value. The loss of Vincent Kompany is a blow but let's not forget Blaise Matuidi is out for PSG as well.
As you can imagine, the goals markets are all mighty short with BTTS and Over 2.5 not worth putting up but a lack of goals in this game seems unfathomable.
PSG must score while Man City, with an expectant crowd cheering them on, will surely contribute to the tally. It's the draw at 27/10 that looks the logical punt here and after calling the 2-2 result last week I'll go in again with the same scoreline.
I think this one could go all the way. Paddy Power are offering 60/1 on either side winning on penalties which looks monstrous and worthy of small interest.
So while Man City for me look too big here I think it's the draw that stands out from a pragmatic point view at the odds. Hopefully this will be another goal-laden game.
Manchester City v PSG – Draw (27/10 888 Sport)
Manchester City v PSG – 2-2 Draw (12/1 BetVictor)
Manchester City v PSG – Manchester City to win on penalties (60/1 Paddy Power)
Manchester City v PSG – PSG to win on penalties (60/1 Paddy Power)
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