Man City (5) v Steaua Bucharest (0) – Wednesday 19:45, BT Sport 2
Man City put this tie to bed in the first leg as they won 5-0, but it should have been 7-0 as Aguero missed a couple of penalties and yet still managed to net a hat-trick, adding another couple of goals to his already burgeoning tally for the season at Stoke on the weekend. Steaua picked up a point at home to league leaders Dinamo Bucharest since the first leg, but they’re staring down the barrel of another heavy defeat here, and will hope that Pep decides to give some of his stars a rest with West Ham on the weekend in mind.
Since 2007/08 20 teams have won the first away leg of a Champions League qualifier by at least three goals and they’ve all won the return at home, leading at the break in 15 of these matches. As a result, we’re also backing City to be ahead at half-time and full-time in this one. Eight of these wins were by more than two goals but Steaua have only lost two of their last eight European away games against sides we have ranked in Europe’s top-15 by more than two, and with City’s motivation somewhat questionable, we’re wary of backing them to cover the handicap.
While much of the build-up will centre around Aguero, Nolito is the one we’re interested in to score anytime after he netted a quick-fire brace at Stoke from the bench, and as a result he may well be given a starting berth here.