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Man City target Dzeko set to play against Panathinaikos

| 20.07.2010

Pre-season friendlies are typically more difficult to predict than an Ian Holloway post-match interview.

However, with the right knowledge, they offer a good opportunity to profit before the season proper has even begun.

They are also a way to see your club’s transfer targets in action ahead of any proposed move – and Tuesday evening’s encounter between Steve McClaren’s VfL Wolfsbury and Greek champions Panathinaikos does just that.

The match kicks off at the Volkswagen Arena at 6.05pm, with the German team 11/10 favourites to win the game, while the away side are 2/1 to come out on top. The draw is 11/5.

Wolfsburg snapped up Mario Mandzukic from Dinamo Zagreb on Friday, and the the 24-year-old Croatian striker is likely to play some part in the match, potentially alonsgside Manchester City target Edin Dzeko.

Boss McClaren said: “In our system, it’s important that the strikers are flexible and it’s also important that he can score goals.”

By winning their national league Panathinaikos have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League (which they are 150/1 to win) and will provide a good gauge of where Wolfsburg are.

Having won the Dutch title with FC Twente last year, McClaren is a tempting 5/1 to do the same with Wolfsburg before the end of 2014.

A more short-term aim is the guide Wolfsburg, who won the Bundesliga in 2009, back to the Champions League, an 11/4 chance for next season, after finishing eighth last time out.

Panathinaikos are hit-and-miss on their European travels, having won two and lost two of their previous four such trips.

One win was a notable 3-2 victory over Roma in the Stadio Olimpico and that result is 25/1. With Sidney Govou arriving from Lyon earlier this month, it is not out of the question in a free-flowing friendly.

However, expect McClaren to have drilled his defence well and a clean-sheet win is likely. 1-0 to the German team is 7/1.

Wolfsburg lost 1-0 at home to Fulham last term. A repeat here is 7/1. See the full Wolfsburg v Panathinaikos match betting market.



Richard Anderson