Man City vs Barcelona by Marcelino

Man-City
VS
Barcelona
Two European powerhouses meet in the first knockout round in the Champions League, as Man City will be hosting the first leg of this round vs Barcelona. Man City are coming off a confidence boosting win vs Chelsea, as they got their revenge on Chelsea and beat them quite comfortably. Man City will probably have Aguero unavailable for this match, who will probably not be match fit. He is a big player for City, but they have several players to choose from as a replacement. Other absentees include Nastasic and Fernandinho.

 

Barcelona have no major players injured. Messi came back after a long layoff and could be a bit rusty, but he already scored a couple of goals in Barcelona's last match. Barcelona are favourites to progress through to the next stage, but Man City are not to be underestimated.

 

It is very difficult to choose a winner in this match, and the bookies are struggling to find a favourite as well with the prices for either team winning being similar.

 

I think a draw is a very likely outcome in this match. It is impossible to imagine any team running away with the game. Manchester will desperately want to avoid a defeat, in order to remain in this tie when the 2nd leg begins. I believe that Man City will be satisfied with a draw, in which case they will remain underdogs but will not be out of the tie be any means. Barcelona on the other hand will be satisfied with a draw as well. They will be confident in their ability to win their home match and progress to the next round, so a draw will be a good result for them.

 

With both teams desperately wanting to avoid defeat, I think that they will play a tight game without taking too many risks. They will definitely begin the match cautiously as they will both be afraid of making a mistake. As the match will progress, the game may open up a bit, perhaps score a goal each, but if the game will be a draw at 60 minutes, I think they will once again tighten up. Neither team will want to make a mistake, as a late winner would swing the game in the favor of the goalscorers significantly. On the same train of though, if one team takes the lead, there will be no waiting around for the team behind. They will do everything in their power to level things up. And both teams do have the talent to turn it up a notch and put some pressure on their opponent if the need arises. Therefore, the pick for this match is a DRAW!pin
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Pick Bookmaker Odds * Stake Result
Draw Bet365 3.60 5 0-2 LOST (-5 units)
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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