After a last-gasp defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena and a disappointing draw with AS Roma at the Etihad, Manchester City fans may already be having nightmares about Europa League football from January onwards – and they are right to.
Because, while the Citizens continue to dominate almost all before them in the Premier League, when it comes to continental competition it’s an altogether different story.
Tuesday’s 1-1 stalemate with the Giallorossi means that Manchester City have now gone four games without a win in the Champions League, while their home form in the tournament is far from impressive.
A tally of two wins from their last eight European games played at the Etihad tells its own story and offers a stark contrast to the domination the Sky Blues have enjoyed at Eastlands in the Premier League over the years.
Little wonder then, that Ladbrokes is giving customers the chance to take advantage of the champions poor form away from the Premier League with odds of 9/10 offered on the Citizens failing to advance to the knock-out rounds.
Part of the bookmaker’s Breaking Bets series, the price reflects what could be a tricky run of games for Manuel Pellegrini’s team which will need to be traversed if the Sky Blues are to progress.
Next up is a trip to Russia to face a CSKA Moscow team that showed they are no whipping boys with a spirited performance in their narrow 1-0 home loss to Bayern Munich.
A Thomas Muller penalty was all that separated the sides and City may not be so lucky when they travel to Eastern Europe.
Pellegrini will be hoping his side’s Etihad anguish ends when CSKA return for the next game otherwise their campaign could be over before it even began.
However even if City escape their Russian double-header with maximum points, a Matchday Five home meeting with Bayern Munich, who could be back to their rampant best at that point, may prove a bridge too far.
From there it’s on to the intimidating atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico and an encounter with AS Roma that has winner-takes-all written all over it.
Rudi Garcia has got the Romans ticking over nicely at present and with the Giallorossi boasting a dominant home record in Serie A, City’s European dreams could well come undone here.
With so much stacked against Sky Blues progress after this week’s damaging home draw, you would have to be mad – or just a Manchester City fan – not to back this bet.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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