Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
The last time Manchester City won a tie on aggregate after an away first-leg loss came in 1971. It was the European Cup Winners’ Cup and a quarter-final against Górnik Zabrze of Poland.
Even then, they needed a replay after each side won 2-0 at home; City were 3-1 victors in the third game.
Much has changed since then, not least the competition rules and the stature and wealth of City as a club.
That is why when you study the us Champions League betting odds, you still find them among the favourites to win the competition, despite a first leg defeat last week.
If entertaining Champions League highlights are your thing, this is a game well worth tuning into.
City have scored 16 goals in their four home games in this season’s competition, yet Pep Guardiola’s side have won seven of their last 14 European matches, home and away – losing a further six.
Moreover, City have also now played five games against English clubs in European competition and lost them all. Indeed, Gabriel Jesus’s early goal in the quarter-final second leg against Liverpool 12 months ago is the only one they have managed in those five fixtures, with eight conceded.
As Champions League games go, City know they have work to do once the action begins. They missed the chance to strike in the first leg when Sergio Agüero had a first-half penalty saved by Hugo Lloris. That proved costly when the ever-influential Heung-Min Son scored what proved the only goal with 12 minutes remaining.
Yet they also know Spurs are missing their talisman Harry Kane so the goal threat of their opponents is somewhat reduced.
City, though, could be without the unsung cog in their midfield should Fernandinho struggle to shake off an injury – he was absent from their weekend Premier League success against Crystal Palace and that would be a big blow.
The pressure is certainly all on the hosts as these sides prepare to clash for the second time in what will be an 11-day triple bill. The Premier League game at the City of Manchester Stadium is scheduled for Easter Saturday (April 20) – three days after this match.
Following a torrid run of league form, which saw Spurs go five games without a win, Mauricio Pochettino’s men could be coming into form at just the right time having won their last three fixtures without conceding a goal.
They will also be pleased to see the statistic that they have progressed to the next round on each of the past nine occasions in which they have won the first leg of a European knockout match (excluding qualifiers).
City are favourites but this is far from a cert. Who is your money on?
Over the years there has been very little between Tottenham and City.
In 157 competitive meetings, both have now recorded 61 wins with 35 draws – although City had won three in a row before the first-leg defeat in this tie.
These sides have quite a lot of recent history too – most of it in favour of City.
City have lost just one of their last eight meetings with Tottenham in Manchester (won six, drawn one). Yet in English domestic knockout football, Spurs have won nine of the teams’ 14 ties – including five of the last six.
In this season’s Premier League, a sixth-minute Riyad Mahrez goal proved enough for City to pick up three points against Spurs at Wembley in late October.
|Manchester City||Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.43|
|April 18, 03:00 (GMT+8)|
If I was a Spurs fan, I’d certainly fancy a punt on my side when the 1X2 odds are available @ 9.50. Even the draw is an attractive looking @ 5.00.
City @ 1.30 suggests this will be a home banker which of course, it will not.
Asian Handicap odds also lean strongly in favour of the home side. You can back City -1.50 @ 1.94 or – 1.75 @ 2.23, whereas Spurs +1.25 @ 2.26 suggests they are real underdogs.
Over 3.50 goals @ 2.26 is tempting, as is Double Chance Spurs or Draw @ 3.25.
I can’t see a goal-free encounter here. In fact, you have to go back to the opening day of the 2010/11 season for the last time these sides played out a goalless draw.
Vincent Kompany and David Silva are the only survivors from that match from either side. In fact, it was Silva’s City debut.
I expect City to pull this tie back and reach the semi-finals but my bet is actually on goals.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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