Man City’s attack can sharpen in second half against Barca

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Cast your minds back a mere matter of months and Manchester City were a goal-scoring phenomenon, plundering each and every defence that dared to stand in their way.

A month prior to that 33-goal January, they had been drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League’s round of 16.

No stranger to finding the net themselves, Barcelona’s 59 league goals by the end of 2014’s first month was even dwarfed by Manuel Pellegrini charges and their scheduled clash was billed as one that torch the two nets.

That was before City’s vast array of attacking talents blunted like a antique knife though and by the time the two met in the first leg all previous goal-scoring powers had almost vanished.

Not only are the goalscoring numbers down – they’ve scored three or more only once in the last seven matches – but when the goals do come they are late in arriving.

In all competitions, the Citizens have only scored one first half goal in that same stretch of seven, making a couple of bets in the goal markets of the second leg really tasty options.

It is 15/8 that City score more goals in the second half than they do in the opening 45 minutes, while 9/4 is available on Yaya Toure and co’s first strike coming after the half time refreshments have been fully supped.

Both of those bets would have come rolling home in all of City’s last three games, while Barcelona’s record of shipping just two second half goals in the last five matches only enhances the confidence in either flutter.

It’ll certainly be a dangerous ploy to leave it late in the Nou Camp should City want to qualify to the next stage. Needing to overcome a two away-goal deficit it’s understandable are a pricey 11/1 to book their place in the Champions League’s quarter finals.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.