Champions League Betting – Wednesday’s Tips
Manchester City’s failure to make the same impact in the Champions League as they have at home suggests the Premier League may not be as strong in comparison to other European competitions as some believe, and Roberto Mancini’s team have given themselves a mountain to climb if they are to reach the last 16.
Not only do City have to be beat group winners and eight-times European Cup finalists Bayern Munich, they also have to hope that Napoli slip up against the so-far pointless Villareal. It’s a tall order, especially as the Sky Blues have already been comfortably beaten by the German side earlier in the competition, and a place in the Europa League would be little consolation for City fans who had high expectations of their team in Europe this year. Bayern, of course, have nothing riding on the tie, but Jupp Heynckes won’t want his team to surrender their unbeaten record in the group without a fight, though he is expected to rest one or two of his first-choice XI. Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez are likely to play some part, however, and all three have the ability to cause the City defence several anxious moments.
Mancini has to go for broke and may decide to start with both Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko up front but Bayern are old hands at grinding out results away from home in this competition and can grab a draw at the Etihad at 13/5. A 1-1 correct score is on offer at 6/1.
City’s neighbours Manchester United also find themselves in the unusual position of needing a result from their final game to make progress in the Champions League. But Sir Alex Ferguson’s men look well up to the task of getting what they need against FC Basel at the St Jacob-Park.
Last week’s Carling Cup defeat by Crystal Palace confirmed that United’s shadow squad isn’t as strong as it once was, but there hasn’t been a lot wrong with the first-choice XI’s recent form in the Premier League. They have rather stumbled through their group in this competition, however, struggling to overcome minnows Otelul Galati and having to come from behind to secure draws against Benfica (twice) and Basel. Their 3-3 draw with the Swiss champions at Old Trafford was more down to complacency than anything else as United were cruising at half time but fell asleep after the break and needed a late Ashley Young goals to rescue a point as full time approached. Young is likely to play off Wayne Rooney as United revert to a more familiar line-up in Basel and, if their defence keeps a tighter rein on Alexander and Fabian Frei, they should get the win at 8/15. A 0-2 correct score can be backed at 11/2.