THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE wasn't kind to the Premier League on Tuesday night, but league leaders Manchester City host Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night looking for three points. Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) shares his betting thoughts.
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk | Wednesday 7th November 2018, 20:00 | BT Sport
After a shock defeat at home to Lyon on matchday one, Manchester City have picked up very important wins since then, with a last-gasp victory in Hoffenheim and a very impressive 3-0 triumph away to Shakhtar. That has seen the Citizens reach the top of the group, one point ahead of Lyon.
City have been installed as the 1/8 favourites with Betfred and that is a crazy short price. However, with the current form of City, it is hardly surprising. Since that surprising defeat to Lyon, they are unbeaten in 10 and have won each of their last five, netting 16 in the process.
Nevertheless, the loss to Lyon is proof that Pep Guardiola's group are yet to truly produce their domestic dominance in Europe and Shakhtar can take plenty of confidence from that – they have in fact lost each of their last three European matches at the Etihad.
If you think Shakhtar can pull off an incredible shock then you can get best Champions League odds of 28/1 with Coral. A much better price than the 18/1 elsewhere.
City have lost their last three home Champions League games, all in 2018 and all by the same scoreline – 1-2 against Basel, Liverpool and Lyon, but I would be amazed if they are unable to win here.
Man City have only failed to score in one of their last 15 Champions League group stage games and you have to expect them to get on the scoresheet here considering they have scored 16 goals in their last five games across all competitions.
German international Leroy Sane has started three of the last five games and scored two goals. It is great to see him back to his best after a difficult season so far which followed his removal from the German squad at the World Cup.
He is a man in form and is showing his confidence once more and at 13/10 (BetVictor) he looks a decent value shot to score on Wednesday night, in my opinion.
Ilkay Gundogan and Nicolas Otamendi are included in Manchester City's squad, but Kevin De Bruyne misses out.
The Ukrainian side are a best price of 28/1 and it is small wonder when you consider that Shakhtar have failed to score in seven of their last nine Champions League away games.
City beat Shakhtar 2-0 at the Etihad in last season’s group stage and the Ukrainian outfits have a terrible record in England. Ukrainian sides have never won in England in 28 attempts in European competition.
Considering that City have only conceded in two of their last 10 matches, Man City to win ‘to nil' looks a wise bet. You can get 31/40 with BetVictor on this selection.
The betting angle
Paulo Fonseca has said his Shakhtar team won't change their style of play despite the size of the challenge ahead, “We will remain ourselves instead of losing our identity, to show courage and our own game, realising at the same time that we shouldn’t make mistakes while playing that kind of opponents.”
However, their best attacking players Taison and Marlos are only just back from injury and are unlikely to be back to their best, or even be on the pitch at all, so Man City to win ‘to nil' and Leroy Sane as an anytime goalscorer are my picks.