Basel v Man City: Back both teams to score

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It’s knockout time as the 2018 Champions League moves into the last 16 phase of the tournament.

Manchester City travel to face Basel in St. Jakob-Park in the first leg of this two-legged affair.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be confident of passage through and their match odds of 3/10 reflect that.

Basel are heavy underdogs at 8/1 to win, with the draw at 21/5. But can the Swiss Super League champions cause an upset?

Man City shouldn’t get overly cocky. Basel have a cracking record against English opposition, particularly at home.

No Premier League side have been able to stop them from scoring in European competitions since 2002-03. That includes games against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle, Fulham, and Middlesbrough.

In fact, in their last 29 home Champions League games, only three sides have been able to keep them scoreless – Benfica, Schalke, and Real Madrid.

Both Teams To Score here is a generous-looking 10/11. But Guardiola’s outfit will still be confident of victory considering how good they’ve been this term.

Leicester City were their latest victims at the weekend losing 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium. Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero are nigh-on unplayable at the minute- the latter scoring four of the five goals.

Basel have the added issue of having lost their best defender – Manuel Akanji – to Borussia Dortmund in January.

Aguero is 14/5 to open the scoring, and 4/5 to find the net Anytime – both of those are worth getting on. Guardiola won’t deviate from his usual tactics, if at all.

He’ll expect his side to dominate the ball, push high up the pitch, and squeeze the Swiss champions on their own turf.

Basel will be expected to counter the Premier League giants and that could set this tie up to be played at a ferocious pace.

First legs tend to be more cautious affairs but taking into account FCB’s English record, and City’s form, there should be goals here.

Over 3.5 Goals is 27/20, but the 15/8 on Both Teams To Score and a City win looks a better bet for the more ambitious.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.