Man City v PSG: Overrated hosts worth opposing as Paris plot comeback

PSG and Brazil forward Neymar and Man City and England defender Kyle Walker
Neymar shone before fading in last week's absorbing first leg

Write off PSG at your peril ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg in Manchester on Tuesday night, writes James Eastham...

"Four of PSG's five knockout games to date in this season's competition have had an Expected Goals (xG) of more than three goals, with an average of 3.88 across their five matches."

Best Bet: Back Man City vs Paris St-G Over 3.0 on the Goal Lines market @ 1.9520/21

Man City vs Paris St-G
Tuesday, 20:00 BST
Live on BT Sport 2

Mbappe an injury doubt

Manchester City are likely to be at full strength. Kevin De Bruyne is tipped to play as a false nine once again, with Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez in supporting roles on the flanks.

For PSG, the big question is over whether Kylian Mbappe will start. The France striker has a calf injury and didn't train on Sunday. Latest reports give him a 50-50 chance of starting. Mauro Icardi is on standby. The only guaranteed absentee for the visitors will be left-back Juan Bernat, out since September.

City too short to back

You could argue that PSG lost the first leg in Paris last week more than Manchester City won it. 1-0 up at the interval after a superlative first-half performance, Paris lost their way after the restart, allowing Manchester City back into the game and eventually losing their heads as well as the match.

You could also argue, however, that a draw would have been a fairer result, given that each side had a 45-minute period where they were on top.

While few neutrals would begrudge City their come-from-behind victory, it's worth remembering that the visitors needed a free-kick in which PSG were the architects of their own downfall to claim the win on the night. A dominant attacking performance from Pep Guardiola (pictured below) and his players this was not.

All of which makes the odds on a City home win look remarkably short. Guardiola's men are 1.738/11 to triumph, with PSG 4.84/1 and The Draw 4.57/2.

Have City really got a 58% chance of winning at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night? This is, after all, a PSG side that outplayed City for 45 minutes last week, knocked Bayern Munich out at the quarter-final stage and reached the final last year.

Whether they make the final again is another matter, but PSG will surely fight until the end to achieve that goal. They know exactly what to do and, with their backs to the wall as a result of the 2-1 deficit they must overturn, there's less chance of them losing direction the way they did while ahead last week.

At the available odds, laying City to win on the night looks the smart pick. You want to to wait until getting confirmation that Mbappe starts the game. If he does, PSG's chances of avoiding defeat look underrated.

guardiola_2021_champs_lge.jpg

High goals the smart selection

For a second bet, consider going high on the goals market. PSG have to score at least twice to stand any chance of going through. This will inform their tactics from the moment they take to the field. Even if the game is cautious during the opening exchanges, it will open up at some point.

Four of PSG's five knockout games to date in this season's competition have had an Expected Goals (xG) over more than three goals, with an average of 3.88 across their five matches. Three of those same five games have featured three or more goals.

Given these stats and the state of the tie, Over 3.0 in the Goal Lines market is an appealing selection at a price close to evens. With this pick, you'll get your stakes back if the game has exactly three goals and make a profit if the game has four or more goals.

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James’ 2020-21 Champions League P/L

Staked: 17pts
Returned: +14.44pts
P/L: -2.56pts

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