Dinamo Zagreb vs Manchester CityUEFA Champions League, KO: 17:55 Dec 11, 2019, Stadion Maksimir
MAN CITY'S air of invincibility has been replaced by a look of vulnerability as Pep Guardiola suffers the first real malfunction of his hugely successful reign.
Sunday's demoralising 2-1 home defeat to United in the Manchester derby was the third time in four games City have failed to win and it left them a huge 14 points behind Premier League pacesetters Liverpool.
Guardiola's men have drawn their last two Champions League outings 1-1 – away to Atalanta and home to Shakhtar Donetsk – but the point in Italy was enough to send them through with two games to spare and they have the luxury of being able to send out fringe players in Zagreb.
That will be warmly welcomed by a Dinamo side whose hopes of reaching the last 16 hinge on beating City and hoping Shakhtar fail to defeat Atalanta.
Dinamo began the group with a bang – thumping Atalanta 4-0 at home – but have fizzled out worryingly since with two wins and two draws. City's makeshift line-up and iffy form gives the hosts a fighting chance, and they are 21-5 at Marathonbet for victory, with the visitors 6-10 at Coral and a stalemate paying 7-2 at bet365.
Dinamo's defence was already leaky – they've shipped 2+ goals in four consecutive Champions League games – and the absence of first-choice defenders Dino Peric and Kevin Theophile Catherine through suspension here will not help the hosts' cause.
City, needing to bounce back from their derby disappointment, have the firepower to bag a couple of goals but are also suspect at the other end, having failed to keep a clean in nine consecutive games in all competitions. Seven of those have brought up btts and over 2.5 goals and same again is worth backing at 5-6 with Ladbrokes.
Also consider City to score 2+ and have over four corners (they have had at least five corners in their last 14 games) at even money with bet365.
And in the scoring stakes, how about Ilkay Gundogan for a goal? The German midifielder has only five in 25 games for club and country this season, but has netted in consecutive Champions League outings and loves to get involved in and around the box. If he starts, Gundogan is worth a small stakes interest at 11-2 with Unibet.
This UEFA Champions League match between Dinamo Zagreb and Manchester City will be played on Dec 11, 2019 and kick off at 17:55