Thursday, June 4, 2020

Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb vs Manchester City

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Desperately looking for a response, Manchester City will make the trip Dinamo Zagreb Stadion Maksimir on Wednesday evening.

Dinamo Zagreb

Starting with the hosts, picking up a 1-0 win over Varaždin last time out and now holding a nine-point buffer at the top of the HNL, Dinamo Zagreb are firmly on course to clinch their 21st Croatian domestic crown. While Nenad Bjelica’s men might still hold an outside chance of securing a shock route out of Group C if they can pull of a huge upset in midweek, they have struggled to reach a similar level in which they opened their Champions League campaign earlier in the season. Despite opening their European campaign with a thumping 4-0 victory over Atalanta at the Stadion Maksimir back in September, Dinamo have failed to win any of their other four Group C appearances. Including suffering a 2-0 defeat away at the Italian outfit in their last European outing, there is no doubt that Bjelica will be hugely concerned by his side’s issues at the back. Recording just a pair of clean sheets in their last six matches across all competitions, Wednesday’s hosts have also shipped two or more strikes in each of their last four Champions League matchups on the bounce.

Team News

Zagreb will still be unable to call upon striker Sandro Kulenovic who remains out with a broken foot.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, watching Manchester United pick up local bragging rights thanks to a 2-1 win at the Etihad over the weekend, City find themselves enduring their trickiest run under Pep Guardiola. Winning just one of their last four matches across all competitions and now sat 14 points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool, the defending champions could also only muster a 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in their last Group C appearance. Much like Wednesday’s hosts, a huge part of the Sky Blues’ continued struggles since opening the new campaign have come down to some glaring problems defensively. Still unable to call upon key defender Aymeric Laporte, the former Barcelona boss has seen his side fail to record a clean sheet in any of their previous nine matches, a run that stems back to the 26th of October. Despite already securing a knockout spot, It should also be noted that Wednesday’s guests have failed to record a clean sheet in any of their previous three Champions League matches on the bounce.

Team News

Oleksandr Zinchenko looks set for a return to the action after missing nearly two months with a knee injury.

Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane, on the other hand, are still sidelined for some time due to more significant knee ligament problems.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City have won just one of their last four matches across all competitions.
  • The Sky Blues have also failed to record a clean sheet in any of their last nine matches.
  • Dinamo Zagreb have seen each of their last four Champions League matches end with both teams finding the net.
  • When the two sides met back in October, City picked up a 2-0 win.
  • Zagreb are unbeaten in their last five European matches on home soil.

Conclusion

While City will make the trip to Zagreb as a favorite with the bookmakers, Wednesday’s trip to foreign soil could prove to be yet another tricky test. Enduring their most difficult run under Pep Guardiola and dealing with some clear defensive issues, Dinamo’s European record on home soil has remained a constant over the past two years. In a matchup that should produce plenty of chances for two leaky defences, we’re backing both teams to find the net in midweek.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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