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Barcelona favored against Manchester City at Etihad

Bet on Man City v Barcelona - 2015 Champions LeagueChampions League Round of 16 Betting Preview

Start: Tuesday, February 24th 2015 at 2:45pm ET
Location: Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England
TV: TSN

WILL Barcelona dominate Manchester City in the knockout stage of the Champions League again?

Last year, Barca eliminated City in dominating fashion. Barcelona won the 1st leg 2-0 at Etihad and followed that up with a 2-1 win at Camp Nou (4-1 aggregate).

Manchester City have had success in the top-flight English league, but they haven’t been able to crack the Champions League. They were lucky to escape the group stage. After taking two points in four matches – City beat Bayern and Roma to qualify in Group E.

Barcelona won Group F with a 5-0-1 record. They scored 15 goals, while conceding 5 goals. PSG beat Barcelona (3-2) at home in the group stage though. If Man City wants to have any chance at qualifying they need to find a way to get three points in this match.

Manchester City v Barcelona betting odds

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I won’t be having a punt on this market. Barcelona are priced higher than I’d feel comfortable betting them at and I don’t trust City to play well enough at Camp Nou. Realistically, City could win this leg at home and still easily end up being eliminated.

Bettors have shown favoritism towards Barca, despite this 1st leg being played at Etihad. At these prices I’d only consider betting on a draw or City to win. Barcelona are a great team and they may end up winning, but they’d be happy with an away draw.

This is a tough market to predict. Last year the match at Etihad stayed under the total, but it’s hard to recommend betting the under when Barcelona and Manchester City are both on the pitch. Action is coming in on the over, but I’m avoiding the market completely.

Can Pellegrini lead Man City to the Champions League quarterfinals?

Manchester City are second on the Premier League table with 55 points – trailing the leader, Chelsea by five points. They have found their goal scoring form, as they have two consecutive blowout wins over Stoke City (4-1) and Newcastle (5-0).

The squad is fit other than James Milner. Milner missed the match against Newcastle and is expected to miss this match as well. That isn’t a huge concern, as City have great midfield depth including Samir Nasri, David Silva and Jesus Navas.

Sergio Aguero is slowly finding his form, as he now has three goals in his last two matches. However, two of those goals came by the way of penalty kick. Aguero is the best player on City, but this match will be won by keeping Barcelona off the score sheet.

Barcelona are fit for the match, but they have questionable form after losing to Malaga (1-0) over the weekend. Malaga employed a strong defensive game plan and they looked to quickly counterattack, which is exactly what City has to do at Etihad.

When you have Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez upfront it’s tough not to score, but Malaga was able to frustrate this trio by playing strong positional defense. I expect all three strikers to start for Barca, which will put pressure on the City back line.

Barcelona have been playing incredible football since the New Year apart from the loss to Malaga, but the loss will give Man City more confidence. The problem with City has been inconsistency – one match they’re world-beaters and the next they’re terrible.

Man City v Barcelona predictions

My thoughts are that City will win this match 2-1, but I could easily see the match ending in a 1-1 or 2-2 draw as well. Barcelona was able to win at Etihad last year in the Champions League, but City will remember that defeat and look to dish out some revenge.

The Citizens are scoring 2.0 GPG at home in league play, but they’ve actually been better in away matches. That worries me, but City have proven they can beat top European competition at Etihad when they beat Bayern (3-2) back in November.

We’ve also witnessed Barcelona lose away to PSG in the group stage. Action has been coming in on Barcelona, which I like, because the odds on City are priced high. As long as Barcelona doesn’t win the match this bet cashes and it’s easily my best bet.

If Man City are to win this match they’re going to need to open the scoring against Barcelona. Aguero is always a threat upfront and he’s taking penalty kicks as well. Nasri and Silva are two other options, although Aguero has the best chance to open the scoring.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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