Man City prepare to host Real Madrid knowing that only a win will suffice if they are to maintain their flimsy hopes of Champions League progression, but the betting suggests they will not achieve the feat.
After failing to beat Dortmund and Ajax on home soil, it would take a momentous effort for Roberto Mancini’s men to come out on top against such a talented team and the price of 2/1 that says they’ll pull it off is a touch on the short side.
A Real win can be had at 5/4, while the draw is as long as 5/2, but there won’t be much money going on either outcome on the blue half of Manchester.
Qualification as group winners for a club of Real’s stature is vital and, as they’re currently trailing Dortmund by a point, Los Merengues are sure to be going all guns blazing at the Etihad just as they have been domestically.
They’ve won six on the spin in Spain, scoring 23 goals in that time and are sure to provide City’s defence, who have kept three clean sheets in their last four games, their sternest test of recent weeks.
The Citizens themselves ran riot against Villa in their latest Premier League escapade, scoring five times.
The attacking talent on display is sure to produce goals here and backing over 3.5 of them to be scored is well worth a few quid at 6/5.
An away win also offers plenty of value to punters when combined with their being three goals or more registered in the game. With the latter aspect almost nailed on, this bet basically inflates Real’s match odds to 9/4 and has to be worth a dabble.
This game also marks Cristiano Ronaldo’s first return to Manchester since leaving City’s arch-rivals Man United in 2009.
In 11 Manchester derbies, the mercurial Portuguese international was sent off twice. Red cards are not something you would associate with Ronaldo’s game; if you can remember him making a tackle in his career then you’ve done well.
Perhaps City’s sky blue shirts have a similar effect to what the colour red does to a bull. If it is indeed the case and he is dismissed again, not only have we uncovered a rare medical phenomenon, but those who back it can be paid out at 25/1.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date