Despite regularly carving opponents up in England’s top tier, Manchester City have so often proved an enigma in the Champions League, though that pattern must surely change when Sevilla pay a visit to the Etihad Stadium next.
With last season’s beaten finalists Juventus on maximum points after two rounds, this fixture in Group D is a particularly pivotal one for Manuel Pellegrini’s charges.
Like City, their Spanish guests have lost to the Italians and also beaten Monchengladbach, so winning the home leg of this double-header against the Europa League holders feels paramount to their chances of escaping from a very competitive group.
An invaluable three points for the Premier League leaders is rated at 4/6 and although false dawns of the recent past will ensure no City fan is over confident, there’s good reason to believe back-to-back Champions League wins will be attained.
Although Sergio Aguero’s absence is detrimental to the cause, a 5-1 thrashing of Bournemouth prior to this continental tussle offered Pellegrini genuine reassurance that he has strength in depth to cover the Argentine’s goal threat.
Raheem Sterling bagged a hat-trick, but perhaps even more crucial was Wilfried Bony opening his seasonal account with an instinctive brace, as the Ivorian is Aguero’s principal replacement.
That’s now 11 goals over two Etihad outings for the rampant Citizens, and while Sevilla’s rearguard is not likely to be as vulnerable to an onslaught, the La Liga outfit have not travelled well yet at all this season.
Unai Emery’s re-jigged team are winless in five games in all competitions outside of their Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan home – losing 2-0 at Juventus in Group D.
That was one of three occasions where they even failed to score on the road this term, but then again City have shipped at least once in their last seven all-competition matches.
Plumping for a 2-1 or 3-1 Man City victory at 7/1 or 10/1 respectively holds appeal in lieu of the hosts’ defensive Achilles Heel.
Sterling’s first-half hat-trick against the Cherries obviously heaps attraction on his young shoulders to kick off the scoring at 13/2. This punt will now be eligible for Ladbrokes Sharp Shooter offer on televised games as well.
The bookmakers are also enhancing the odds on Sterling scoring anytime as part of a Manchester City victory from 5/2 out to 7/2.
*Sharp Shooter T’s and C’s.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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