Champions League: victory essential for Man City to progress
Manchester City look absolutely irresistible in domestic competition, remaining unbeaten and topping the Premier League with 48 goals in just 14 games.
The Champions League has offered a different proposition altogether though, and the Citizens have had something of a rude awakening in their debut season amongst Europe’s elite.
City, 8/13 to beat Bayern Munich, need to win to have any chance of progressing from Group A, and hope Villarreal can do them a favour against Napoli.
With one win and one draw in their previous two European outings at Eastlands, group winners Bayern Munich undoubtedly represent their stiffest challenge yet.
The Germans have won four and drawn one of their five Champions League games this season, and are a big 4/1 to pick up another win in Manchester.
Whilst they could theoretically field a much weakened side, you should expect only a few tweaks out of respect to Napoli, and the 3/1 for a draw also seems a very generous price.
Roberto Mancini is certain to start with as strong a side as possible as he desperately aims to qualify for the knockout phase, and the first goal scorer markets appear interesting for this reason.
Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli are joint-favourites to notch first at 9/2, with the competition’s joint top-scorer Mario Gomez priced at 7/1 for the visitors.
Yaya Toure thrives in a big game situation though, and could prove a good value punt at 8/1 to score first.
Elsewhere in the group, Napoli meet a point-less Villarreal side in Spain, and the Italians are 8/11 to ensure a safe passage to the last 16 with an away win.
A draw would be enough for the visitors should Man City fail to win, and 11/4 is the price attributed to that outcome, whilst Villarreal, who will be desperate to avoid finishing with no points, are a big 7/2 to claim victory.