Thursday, August 5, 2021

Prediction: Manchester City vs Marseille

Verdict: Manchester City win by 2+ goals

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to sign off their Group C campaign with a flurry in midweek, Manchester City will welcome Marseille to the Etihad on Wednesday night.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, while Manchester City might still find themselves sat all the way down in seventh in the Premier League table, Pep Guardiola’s side have managed to bounce back from that 2-0 defeat against Tottenham last month. Last seen over the weekend when picking up what was a routine 2-0 victory against early-season relegation scrappers Fulham on Saturday afternoon, the Sky Blues do find themselves enjoying a four-match unbeaten run, winning three of those appearances. Turning their attention back to Champions League duties in midweek, Pep Guardiola’s side have managed to secure top spot in Group C with time to spare after collecting 13 points from their five matchups this year. While City might have been disappointed to have settled for a 0-0 stalemate away at Porto last week after missing a string of chances, Wednesday’s hosts have at least shown some clear improvements at the back. Including their 2-0 win against Fulham over the weekend, Guardiola’s men have now recorded four clean sheets on the spin.

Team News

Manchester City’s second-choice goalkeeper Zack Steffen is expected to be handed a rare start between the sticks on Wednesday night.

With Guardiola announcing he has a full squad to choose from in midweek, Sergio Aguero could be handed a chance to feature at the Etihad.

Marseille

As for the visitors, while Marseille might have seen any chance of reaching the knockout stage of this year’s tournament long since swept off the table, the French outfit do find themselves enjoying a recent purple patch. Knowing that they must better Olympiakos’ result in midweek if they’re to at least secure a spot in the Europa League this season, Les Olympiens were last seen over the weekend picking up a deserved 2-0 win away at Nimes on Ligue 1 duties. Managing to find their feet after what was a sluggish start to the 2020/2021 campaign, Head Coach André Villas-Boas finds his side enjoying a three-match winning run across all formats. Also managing to keep their European dreams alive thanks to what was a dramatic 2-1 win out in Greece last week, the former Tottenham and Chelsea boss finds his squad enjoying by far their brightest run of the season so far. However, facing an unenviable trip to Manchester in midweek, it should be noted that Marseille were hit with a 3-0 drumming when they welcomed City to the Stade Vélodrome last month.

Team News

Nemanja Radonjic is still sidelined with a thigh injury for Marseille, while Leonardo Balerdi has returned from suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off at the Stade Vélodrome last month, Manchester City recorded a 3-0 win.
    • Wednesday’s hosts have managed to collect 13 points from their five Group C matchups this season.
    • Along with winning each of their last three contests on the spin, Marseille have collected 12 points over their last five matchups across all formats.
    • However, continuing on from their last Champions League run back in 2013, Marseille have remarkably lost 13 of their last 14 European outings.
    • Manchester City have recorded four clean sheets on the bounce.

    Conclusion

    While Marseille might be enjoying their brightest run of the season so far and knowing that they still have an outside chance of landing a Europa League spot, the French outfit faces a stern test in midweek. With Manchester City already managing to book their spot in the knockout stage as Group C winners with time to spare, Pep Guardiola’s men will be looking to sign off their run with a flurry at the Etihad. Managing to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat against Spurs last month and boosted by their 3-0 romp out in France, we’re backing a similar outcome for the former Premier League champions on Wednesday.

    Verdict: Manchester City win by 2+ goals

    Best Odds: 5/6

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    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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