Can Pep Guardiola get one over his old side at the Etihad on Tuesday night?
Man City v Barcelona - Tuesday 19:45, BT Sport 2
After being dismantled in the Nou Camp a couple of weeks ago Pep Guardiola’s gets another chance to test himself against his former club. They made a welcome return to winning ways at the weekend as Sergio Aguero made his importance crystal clear. However, if they lose here then City will probably find themselves two points behind Borussia Monchengladbach in the group – and they still have a trip to Germany to come.
There are no such problems for Barca, who’ve been imperious so far, with a 100% record and a goal difference of +12. With the chance to put a genuine contender in real qualification trouble we should see a fully focused performance from the Catalans. However, their record travelling to teams from the ‘Big Five’ leagues isn’t as good as you’d expect: since 2008/09 they’ve won just eight of 28 games and have drawn four of seven such group matches. The last six of those seven saw both teams score and with Guardiola’s City hardly reliable at the back, goals are definitely likely in this game. With the fact both defences look vulnerable we’ll leave the match outcome alone and wouldn’t put anyone off a punt on Over 3.5 Goals, but it’s not our favourite selection.
Lionel Messi certainly took advantage of that weakness two weeks ago as he recorded his second Champions League hat-trick of the season and he’s also grabbed three braces in six La Liga starts this term. With 17 goals in 12 Champions League away group matches since 2011/12 he’s our best bet to score anytime.