Man City vs Barcelona by Henrik Mikkeller
I get it, I really do - it's hard to watch a game and technically just want nothing to happen, then Team A scores and so you're desperate for Team B to pull one back - it's an emotional rollercoaster, but hey, let's put all that aside and focus on the positive, odds of 3.7 on an outcome which is frankly a good result for both teams!
If this game finishes as a draw then it's likely that both teams will qualify for the next round and that really is all that matters. Barca have won their first 3 matches, admittedly without looking totally convincing in Germany and enjoying more than their fair share of fortune against City at Camp Nou. Manchester City, on the other hand, were held to a draw against Celtic (having been behind 3 times) and - at least in terms of the scoreline - took a thumping against Barca. A point for each team here would likely require City to simply not lose in Germany and to then see off Celtic in Manchester to guarantee qualification (easy, right?).
Man City, after a superb start for Pep Guardiola, haven't been getting the results they'd have been hoping for lately (this weekend's win v West Brom came after a 6-game winless run) however in the Champions' League City have generally done what was required of them - albeit with only 4 points to show for their troubles. Their campaign started with a 4-0 win against Gladbach, before a special night at Parkhead where the 3 goals City scored weren't enough to beat an inspired Celtic side, roared on by a 60,000+ crowd. Nonetheless, 7 goals from 2 games is a pretty solid record in anyone's book.
Barcelona are Barcelona - with possibly the greatest attacking trio ever assembled - so no-one should need convincing of their quality, sure (many will point out) they were unconvincing against Granada but does that really matter? The two matches are incomparable in importance and atmosphere - I would recommend ignoring any talk of Barca not being at their best. What I am keen to point out though is that in the first game between these two sides, 4-0 was not really a fair reflection of the play. The first half was largely an even affair and were it not for at least two serious individual errors then City wouldn't have found themselves chasing the game with 10 men and 30 odd minutes to go.
Manchester City should win the Premier League this season (hell, with their resources they should be winning it every season) and against Barcelona they looked as close as equals as is possible when playing against Barca at Camp Nou. A side of that quality isn't going to lie down and take a beating two (UCL) games in a row - Pep and his squad will fight tooth and nail to ensure they do not lose this game and despite the huge goalscoring talents on display it might be a pretty low-scoring encounter. Both sides are likely to be more keen not to lose than to win... which would play right into the hands of wise punters who have backed the draw.
So have a bet on the draw - then watch a different game. Coventry v Chesterfield, now there's a thriller!
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|Draw||Bet365||3.70||5||3-1 LOST (-5 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.