Man City in must-win Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow
Manchester City go into this Champions League Group E encounter with CSKA Moscow simply needing a win to stand a chance of qualifying for the last 16. They Premier League champions find themselves in third place on two points after three games.
While the Sky Blues have dominated English football recently, they have reached only as far as the first knockout round once in their past three seasons, but are odds-on third favourites to qualify this time.
Luckily Manuel Pellegrini’s men face a side that they have never lost to, in their three meetings, and so they are odds-on at 1/4 for victory again. Coral are offering a more enticing enhanced special bet of 6/4, though, for them to win to nil (maximum stake of £20).
However, CSKA managed to snatch a 2-2 draw against City last time around this term after going two goals behind, so another share of the spoils at 5/1 looks the Russians’ best chance of getting anything from this game. They are 9/1 to win their first Champions League match of the season.
Sergio Aguero is the striker that CSKA should obviously look out for, as he has netted in all three encounters against them (five times). The Argentine attacker, who has scored 12 times in 14 games in all competitions this term, is 9/4 to net first, as he did last time out, and 7/4 to get two or more again.
But the hosts will also need to be wary of Ivory Coast forward Seydou Doumbia, who got CSKA’s first goal in their last battle, before going down for his side’s late penalty. He also bagged a brace in this fixture last season, so is 7/2 to score anytime and 20/1 for another double or more.
Former Manchester United player Zoran Tosic, meanwhile, will be relishing this encounter, and the Serb was on target for the Russians in their home meeting last season. The winger is 6/1 in the anytime market.
CSKA, 50/1 shouts just to qualify from this group, have not been able to keep a clean sheet in their last 24 Champions League matches with Russia’s number one keeper Igor Akinfeev in goal. City are odds-on at 10/11 to score three or more, therefore, or 5/2 to hit four or better.
Frank Lampard, a Champions League winner with Chelsea, was thought to be fit for this fixture, but reportedly missed training ahead of the game. Eliaquim Mangala is another City doubt, while David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov definitely miss out. Rasmus Elm and Kirill Panchenko, meanwhile, are absent for the visitors.
Bayern Munich (odds-on at 1/500 to qualify) and Roma (5/6) are the other sides in Group E, and occupy the first two spots respectively at the half way point. They are more fancied than Man City to progress with Coral.