Man City travel to Basel as they continue their march towards four potential trophies.
Basel v Man City – Tuesday 19:45, BT Sport 3
City cruised though their group, only losing the final game when fielding a weakened side. Pep’s men have faltered slightly on the road of late, winning two of their last five with both of these victories coming over Championship clubs in domestic cup competitions. Prior to that, they could only beat Newcastle 1-0, while Leicester took them to penalties in the Carabao Cup, and so we’re not sure they should be as short as 1.4 to beat a Basel side that beat Man Utd in the group stages.
In seven games hosting sides we have ranked in Europe’s top 10 since 2011/12, Basel are W4-D0-L3 and only lost one of those by more than a single goal. These included victories over Chelsea and Bayern as well as United (twice), while they were only narrowly edged out by Real Madrid and PSG. Basel’s main target will be to head to the Etihad for the second leg with something still to play for and we think they can at least keep it close on home turf, so are backing them +2 on the handicap.
Guardiola has seen his team collect just the solitary clean sheet in seven away matches in the Champions League, conceding 15 times in total, though four of these were shipped at the Camp Nou and we’re not expecting Basel’s attack to run riot. However, they haven’t failed to score in any of their six home Champions League games since the start of last season, scoring exactly once in five of these, and we’re expecting something more akin to the 2-1 defeat they suffered last season when PSG came to town.
In the absence of Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero is the obvious candidate to get on the scoresheet. He’s netted eight times in 12 games since the start of last season, whilst prior to facing Leicester on Saturday he’s also scored nine times in as many matches across all competitions in 2018.