Saturday afternoon would have brought back uncomfortable memories for Edin Dzeko.
So often the fall guy in Roberto Mancini’s rotation of forwards at Manchester City, the Bosnian started life under new boss Manuel Pellegrini in the front and centre of the Chilean’s plans.
He scored four goals in pre-season and started City’s first three games of the Premier League campaign, finding the net in the loss at Cardiff.
But following a disappointing first half against Hull in the last match before the international break, Dzeko was hauled off at half-time and replaced by Alvaro Negredo, who subsequently headed his side’s opening goal.
Having feared he’d blown his chance to make himself undroppable, Dzeko was then benched for Saturday’s goalless draw at Stoke, which he watched entirely from the sidelines.
However, redemption is in sight for the Bosnian, and it comes in the form of Champions League minnows Viktoria Plzen.
Mercifully spared the type of ‘Group of Death’ they’ve experienced in the past – although they’ll still have to face holders Bayern Munich as well as a tricky trip to CSKA Moscow – City can actually look forward to entering Europe’s premier competition this season.
They’ll start against Plzen in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, where Dzeko is available at a tempting price of 9/2 to score the first goal.
The forward grabbed City’s opening goal of their Champions League campaign last season in a 3-2 loss to Real Madrid, and after Negredo and debutant Stevan Jovetic failed to impress at the Britannia Stadium, he’ll be confident of a start against a club who shipped seven goals in their three Champions League home games the last time they were in the competition in 2011/12.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication