Manchester City can strike a strong blow in the battle to progress from Champions League Group D by taking all three points when they host Sevilla at the Etihad on Wednesday (19:45 BST, live on BT Sport 2).
City have made a very solid start to the season and come into this match on the back of four wins in their last five matches in all competitions. They top the Premier League table with 21 points from seven wins, no draws and two defeats.
They recorded a comfortable 5-1 win at home to Bournemouth on Saturday. Man City were two up within 11 minutes thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Bony. Bournemouth pulled one back, only for Sterling to complete a first-half hat-trick with two further strikes prior to the interval. Bony made it five late in the second half.
The injuries suffered by David Silva and Sergio Aguero on international duty have robbed Man City of both their primary creator and goalscorer. But the performances of Bony, Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne on Saturday suggest that while manager Manuel Pellegrini (pictured) will have less options to play with over the coming weeks, his side’s final-third potency will not be significantly reduced.
Best Match Betting Odds
4/6 Man City (Bet365, Coral, BetVictor, SkyBet, Betfred, Ladbrokes, William Hill)
16/5 Draw (Bet365, Betfred, Betfair Sportsbook)
9/2 Sevilla (Bet365, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Unibet, Paddy Power)
City have suffered a couple of setbacks during the first couple of months of the new season – a 2-1 home defeat to West Ham and a 4-1 loss away to Tottenham Hotspur – but have still been the Premier League’s most impressive side. They strengthened their squad with some heavy spending over the summer in a bid to secure similar success in Europe.
Pellegrini will definitely be without the aforementioned Aguero (hamstring) and Silva (ankle), while Aleksandar Kolarov (hamstring), Fabian Delph (hamstring) and Gael Clichy (ankle) will also miss out. Samir Nasri (hamstring) is doubtful.
Sevilla have endured a mixed start to the campaign and travel to England on the back of two wins, one draw and three defeats in their last six matches in all competitions. They are just 12th in La Liga, with nine points from two wins, three draws and three defeats.
Unai Emery’s side drew 1-1 away to Eibar on Saturday. Their hosts capitalised on some slack marking to take an early lead and it wasn’t until the second half, most notably following the introduction of Ever Banega, that Sevilla began to threaten. Kevin Gameiro equalised on 71 minutes, but they were unable to find a winner despite dominating the closing exchanges.
Sevilla have finished fifth in La Liga and triumphed in the Europa League in each of the last two seasons but have struggled for results during the early part of the new campaign. Their underlying statistics have been solid but mistakes at both ends, some misfortune here and there and a lengthy injury list have all contributed to what has been a disappointing start.
Emery is a hard-working and meticulous coach and certainly has enough quality at his disposal to initiate a turnaround. There are a number of players just returning, or soon to return, from injury, while most of the summer signings – Ciro Immobile, Fernando Llorente and Yevhen Konoplyanka to name just three – are yet to receive significant minutes.
Emery will still be without the injured Beto (knee), Daniel Carrico (hamstring) and Nicolas Pareja (cruciate ligament) for the trip to Manchester, while Llorente (groin), Gael Kukuta (hamstring) and Michael Krohn-Dehli (hamstring) are all doubtful.
Our Preview’s Man City v Sevilla Betting Tips
This will be the first meeting between these sides in competitive action. Sevilla have won three and lost just one of their previous six matches against English sides in European competition, while City have generally struggled against Spanish opposition, winning three but losing seven of their previous 13 encounters with sides from La Liga.
Man City recovered from a debut 2-1 home defeat to Juventus to record a 2-1 win away to Borussia Monchengladbach and pull level on points with Sevilla in second place after two rounds of matches in Group D. These opponents represent the biggest threat to their hopes of progressing to the knockout rounds and victory would put them in a strong position.
Sevilla began their European campaign with a strong 3-0 victory at home to Borussia Monchengladbach but were thoroughly outplayed in losing 2-0 at Juventus last time out. The results of their double header against City will go a long way towards determining their chances of qualifying and a draw away from home would represent a very satisfactory result.
This match preview expects a well-contested encounter but one from which Man City should eventually emerge victorious and so our betting tips are:
- Back Manchester City -1 on an Asian Handicap @ best odds of 11/10 with Paddy Power. The bet pays out if City win by two or more goals, while your stake is returned if they only win by one.
- Bet on the second half to be the highest scoring half @ best betting odds of evens with SkyBet or Paddy Power.
Check latest Champions League betting from top bookies.