Man City ready themselves to host Ajax in a game where even a win will most likely prove futile.
Roberto Mancini’s men are massive favourites to win the game at 2/5, despite the fact that they remain winless from three attempts in the Champions League. The Dutch club are at the opposite end of the odds spectrum at 13/2, while the draw is a 7/2 but this will do neither side any favours.
Pressure has been building on the Italian following a string of below par performances and poor results in this competition which have left his side teetering on the cusp of another premature exit from the Champions League.
Both teams scoring has been a staple of their games in Europe’s premier competition this season, and was the case half of the 10 continental clashes they played last term.
With City looking shaky at the back – though they did keep an admirable clean sheet at West Ham last time out – and after Ajax put three past them in Amsterdam, you’ve got to fancy them to get on the scoresheet at the Etihad, while the hosts failure to notch at the Boleyn Ground was the first time this campaign that they didn’t register. A price of 4/6 says both will find the net here.
Another recurring theme in City’s three previous Champions League games has been a second-half capitulation.
Joe Hart has only been beaten once before the break, compared to six times after it and his side have never gone in behind at half time.
This adds value to the 9/4 on offer for Ajax to score their first goal of the game in the second half, while the 16/1 that says the visitors will win the game after the scores being tied at half time must be worth a few quid.
An interesting stat ahead of this one – Ajax coach Dennis Bergkamp played nine games against City for Arsenal; he won each of them. He’s also won one from one whilst sitting in the dugout against them.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date