Manchester City

V

Etihad Stadium

07/03/2018 | 7:45 pm

FC Basel

V

Etihad Stadium

07/03/2018 | 7:45 pm

In a sentence: Manchester City host Basel in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.

Last time: The English club cruised to a 4-0 win thanks to goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero.

This time: City are 1/12 to notch yet another victory, while Basel are 18/1 and the draw is 7/1.

You might remember: Michael Lang’s last minute winner against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side back in November. The Swiss champions beat off CSKA Moscow to secure their progress out of the group stage.

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Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been in stunning form recently, but he may get a rest against Basel

It’s one down, two to go for the Citizens after their recent Carabao Cup success against Arsenal. In what was a one-sided affair, Guardiola’s men put in yet another dominant performance and attention will now shift to European glory, with a third title in seven years soon to be confirmed. In contrast, Basel will want to give their supporters something to cheer about after a tough year, and pride is at stake for one of Switzerland’s most prestigious clubs.

City are predictably the overwhelming favourites at 1/12 and have failed to taste defeat at the Etihad this term. With more pressing matters to navigate on the horizon, the likes of Aguero, Leroy Sane and Vincent Kompany are expected to be given the night off and Guardiola will be mindful of managing his captain’s schedule after an injury ravaged couple of years. The smart money is on another comfortable triumph for Guardiola’s slickers, even if it’s a combination of fringe and younger players who kick off proceedings.

RotBlau are 18/1 to pull off a shock and be only the third club to beat City this campaign. Realistically, the main goal is to avoid a repeat of the opening clash, but damage limitation could come into play if they concede early on. Despite the unfavourable odds, Basel have fared reasonably well in England, earning draws against the United, Tottenham and Liverpool respectively.

The draw is available at 7/1 but probably lacks value. The Blues have only been involved in five stalemates all year and unless Basel stopper Tomas Vaclík has the game of his life, it’s highly doubtful the result ends deadlocked.

Bernardo Silva is 13/2 to continue his rich vein of form and net first. The diminutive Portuguese talent took time to settle following his big move from Monaco last summer but has looked at home following a run in the starting lineup. Silva has back-to-back goals in his last two appearances and will feature on either the right flank or in a more central berth as part of a midfield three.

Dimitri Oberlin is 12/1 in the same market and there is value here. The Switzerland under-21 starlet has an impressive four strikes from seven matches in this year’s tournament, and blistering pace which could unsettle the City rearguard.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Toure to get on the scoresheet any time during the 90 minutes at 37/13. The big Ivorian will cherish the opportunity of a playing in front of his adoring crowd and if this is his final season in the North of England, he will want to bow out in style.

2

We fancy:

The Blues to register in both halves at 4/7. There is an air of inevitability when Kevin De Bruyne, Sterling or Sane get on the front foot and goals are a given.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

A 2-2 tie is 40/1. It’s effectively a dead rubber and if City take their foot off the gas RotBlau may fancy their chances.

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Written by Nick Valerio

Nick Valerio is a football fanatic whose writing has appeared online and in print. A Manchester United and Roma fan, Nick names Francesco Totti as his idol and Fabio Grosso’s World Cup-winning penalty in 2006 as his favourite moment in sport.