Friday, March 5, 2021

Prediction: Manchester City vs Olympiacos

Verdict: Manchester City to keep a clean sheet

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to carry on their 100% Champions League start on Tuesday night, Manchester City will welcome Greek giants Olympiacos to an empty Etihad.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, while Manchester City might have struggled to burst themselves out of the traps when opening the new Premier League campaign, the Sky Blues do appear to have found their feet. Managing to come past a resilient Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday lunchtime, Pep Guardiola’s side find themselves in the midst of a seven-match unbeaten run across all competitions. Rightfully seen as a landslide favourite to once again book their spot in the knockout stage after their quarter-final heartbreak against Lyon over the summer, the English heavyweights really put on what was a European masterclass while on foreign soil last week. While many thought that their trip to French outfit Marseille might have been a potential banana skin, the former Bayern Munich boss saw his side pick up a 3-0 victory and they have opened their Group C campaign with back-to-back wins, scoring six goals.

Team News

Defender Nathan Ake is available after injury but record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, midfielder Fernandinho and left-back Benjamin Mendy remain on the sidelines.

Olympiacos

As for the visitors, while Olympiacos might have shocked many as they opened their Group C campaign with a 1-0 win against Marseille on home soil, the Greek giants were unable to keep that momentum up last week. Putting in what was a sluggish display away at Porto, Head Coach Pedro Martins saw his side hit with a 2-0 defeat and would have had few complaints. If Erythrolefki are to cause what would be a seismic upset at the Etihad, they could be calling on Ahmed Mahgoub to lead their charge. Finding the net on domestic duties over the weekend, the Algerian international has four goals in as many appearances across all formats. However, in for an unenviable trip across Europe this week, it should be noted that Olympiacos hold what is a hugely concerning record while away on foreign soil. Including that defeat out in Portugal last week, Tuesday’s guests have collected just a single point from their last five Champions League matchups outside of Piraeus, a run that saw them hit with a dramatic 4-2 defeat away at Tottenham last year.

Team News

Olympiakos are set to be without Ousseynou Ba and Kostas Fortounis.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City have opened their Champions League campaign with back-to-back victories, scoring three goals in both of those wins.
  • Olympiacos have managed to collect just a single point from their last five Champions League fixtures on foreign soil.
  • The Greek side have failed to reach it out of the group stage since 2014.
  • The Sky Blues have managed to record back-to-back clean sheets across all competitions for the first time this season.
  • Each of Manchester City’s last six Champions League appearances have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.

Conclusion

Really putting on what was an eye-catching display away in France last week, Manchester City have opened their Champions League campaign with back-to-back wins and they will be hugely confident of moving one step closer to the knockout stage. Seen as a landslide pick with the bookmakers on Tuesday night and also now landing back-to-back clean sheets across all formats for the first time this season, we’re backing the Sky Blues to extend on that tally at the Etihad in midweek.

Verdict: Manchester City to keep a clean sheet 

Best Odds: 10/11

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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