Man City’s chances of making it through Group A now seem slim at best, but they will want to avenge the defeat by Bayern Munich in Germany so this could be a cracker.
Even if City beat Bayern at the Etihad on Wednesday, in order to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League they would rely on (currently pointless) Villarreal getting at least a draw against Napoli in Spain. If City draw, however, they will not qualify whatever happens in the other match.
As such manager Roberto Mancini is expected to field a full strength City side and go all out for the win, as opposed to resting key players for the upcoming Premier League fixtures against Chelsea and Arsenal. They are favourites with the bookies and can be backed at a best price of 8/13 (Boylesports – free betting £40) to claim the three points.
Bayern Munich will be far from easy opposition of course. They are unbeaten in Group A having won all three of their home games, won at Villarreal and mustered a 1-1 draw at Napoli. City’s saving grave could be that – having already guaranteed top spot in the group – the visitors could well choose to rest some of their stars ahead of a potentially tough trip to Stuttgart on Sunday. Being able to play without pressure does make the odds of 5/1 (William Hill – £25 free bets) for an away win look tempting, but City will be far too strong if Franck Ribery, Mario Gomez and/or Arjen Robben are given the evening off.
With the faint whiff of qualification still lingering for City, expect an all-out attack from the off, which – as Norwich found out at the weekend – could spell goals. You can back over 2.5 goals at 13/19 (Unibet) or for higher odds (but a little more risk) go for over 3.5 goals at 28/17 with the same bookie.