A very fortunate triumph in Germany saw Manchester City revive their qualifying hopes, but the Citizens now need to defeat Sevilla as well if they are to keep their campaign on track. Los Rojiblancos were pretty disappointing in the 2-0 defeat to Juventus, and their latest performances on the road are a major cause for concern ahead of the trip to Etihad.
Many will agree that Manchester City management made all the right moves this summer, splashing out on the likes of Sterling, Delph, De Bruyne and Otamendi, among others, and five opening wins without a single goal conceded hinted the Citizens were on the right track. But, it appears that the players quickly became complacent as they went on to lose three of next four fixtures in all competitions, meaning that manager Manuel Pellegrini had to get back to the drawing board. Manchester City were pretty disappointing in the Champions League match with Borussia M’gladbach as well, but they somehow managed to record a much needed win and have since shown a great deal of improvement. Back to back wins over Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth saw the Citizens bag a total of 11 goals, despite the fact that some key men were missing through injury. Manchester City will again have to make do without Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Fabian Delph, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, whereas Samir Nasri is rated doubtful. But, with Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Bony finally finding their scoring boots, there is plenty of reason for optimism at the Etihad.
Sevilla head into the double header against Manchester City level on points with the Premier League giants, but not exactly confident of achieving a good result at the Etihad. Namely, while los Rojiblancos have become a genuine force to be reckoned with at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where they have beaten Borussia M’gladbach and Barcelona, among other sides, but poor showings on the road are proving to be a major issue. Sevilla have failed to win any of their five away fixtures this term despite facing the likes of Malaga, Levante, Las Palmas and Eibar, while they didn’t even come close to getting anything out of the Champions League clash with Juventus in Turin. When it comes to performances at home and on the road, Sevilla have become a real Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde team, with their bad side regularly on display on the travels. And with Manchester City usually quite convincing in home games, los Rojiblancos could be in for a difficult night at the Etihad. The good news is that Ever Banega and Adil Rami have returned into action, while Fernando Llorente, Sergio Escudero and Michael Krohn-Dehli could return as well. However, Daniel Carrico, Gael Kakuta, Beto and Nico Pareja are definitely out.
Even with Aguero and Silva missing, Manchester City produced another impressive display at the weekend and they head into the Sevilla clash in great spirits. Meanwhile, los Rojiblancos are terrible on the road and are still without some important players, meaning that home win could be on the cards.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 2/3
Bookmaker: William Hill