Man City v Lyon
UEFA Champions League, KO 8:00pm, September 19th. Live on Sky Sports
THE Blue Juggernaut should crush Lyon in front of a buoyant home crowd on Wednesday evening.
I say should but it may have to be without the talents of Ben Mendy and possibly Sergio Aguero. Mendy was absent from City's 3-0 beating of Fulham after complaining of discomfort during training and Aguero twisted his ankle on Saturday.
Will Guardiola risk either player in what should be an easy win considering the crazy fixture list he has to contend with? In three weeks time they must face their biggest rivals for the Premiership in Liverpool.
But dominating Europe is the great white whale of Pep's tenure as City manager. As the man himself said about last season's attempt “we didn't make an exceptional year in the Champions League, we did it in the group stages, but that is not the issue”.
There are certainly some Arabic gentleman with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of readies who will do whatever it takes to help him achieve his ambition.
I am struggling to find any redeeming features of Bruno Gensio's Lyon side as they face off against one of the best teams in the world on a rainy night in Manchester. They have some decent players in Fekir and Dembele but as a unit the French visitors don't really stand much chance of a win and I cant make a case for them to do so.
The 2-11 on City winning is far too short and with Aguero and Mendy unlikely to start I expect Pep will instruct his team to secure the win but not bust a gut in doing so. I'm looking at goals scorers and the half markets here.
While scanning the odds market the first surprise that struck me was the 6-4 on Leroy Sane to score at any time. If Aguero doesn't take the field Wednesday night then it's up to Sane and Jesus to do the necessary. Jesus is 3-4 to hit the net at any time so Sane is far more appealing and just as likely .
Man City -1 handicap first half has a good chance at 21-10 and is probably the best value available on this match. I will be there at the Etihad to watch what happens and one thing is a cert I will get wet.