Man City v CSKA Moscow
Wednesday November 5, 19:45 BST
Live on Sky Sports 5
Manchester City have been perennial underachievers in the Champions League since they received heavy investment from their rich owners. This was supposed to be the year that they made their mark, but two draws and a defeat from their opening three group games has them in a spot of bother - especially as they still have to go to Roma.
Anything other than a victory this evening is worthless to City and while it should be a formality, you never can tell with The Citizens. A 2-0 lead in Russia was blown a fortnight ago and they have since gone on to lose at West Ham and at home to Newcastle, before clinging on to a 1-0 win against the 10 men of their Manchester rivals on Sunday.
David Silva is again ruled out through injury and with Yaya Toure only playing in fits and starts this term, Manuel Pellegrini will once again rely on Sergio Aguero to make things happen. The Argentine is in fine form - nine in his least eight appearances - and as long as he's on song, City should be fine.
CSKA Moscow come into this game with just a single point from their three games to date. Not only that, they also suffered a disappointing loss in domestic action on Saturday as they were beaten at home by title rivals, Zenit. The 'Horses' haven't actually visited the winners' enclosure in Champions League action since a 3-2 victory over Plzen back in October 2013, as since then it's been six defeats and a draw.
Leonid Slutsky's side have usually been good for a goal or two though as they failed to score just once during that period. They managed to find the net against the likes of Bayern Munich and Roma, as well as scoring against today's opponents on the three occasions they faced them.
Man City 1.271/4 CSKA Moscow 14.013/1 The Draw 7.06/1
This market makes little appeal to me as while the hosts should win, there is much better value to be had elsewhere. I wouldn't be adverse to putting them in a multiple on Betfair's Sportsbook, but for a straight up single, I can't get excited at the prices.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Over 2.5 Goals 1.491/2 Under 2.5 Goals 3.02/1
Similar applies to the Over/Under 2.5 goals market. Three goals or more should be a comfortable winner, but the odds are hardly enticing. I'd much rather play on Over 4.5, 5.5 and 6.5, but again, I'm not overly enthused.
Both Teams to Score
Yes 1.9210/11 No 2.0621/20
This is the market for me as I am very keen on both teams scoring at a shade of odds-on. I have already mentioned that the Russians always seem to have a goal in them and Man City's defending has definitely gone downhill since Roberto Mancini was sacked. Just two clean sheets at home this season tells its own story, and they came against Sheffield Wednesday and a 10 man Manchester United team.
The best 'back to lay' or 'cash out' opportunity lies in the correct score market. Any Unquoted score is trading at around the 3.711/4 mark and I can definitely see that going shorter than evens at some stage. For those not sure, one of the teams would need to score four or more for Any Unquoted, and that's an achievement Sergio Aguero earned all by himself in a recent match with Spurs.
Back Both Teams to Score @ 1.910/11 (2pts)
Best Cash Out
Back 'Any Unquoted' Correct Score @ 3.711/4