Manchester City will aim to secure their qualification to the next round of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening as they take on Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s men are currently sitting top of Group F with six points out of a possible nine. A win against Shakhtar, as well as Olympique Lyonnais overcoming Hoffenheim would see the reigning Premier League champions reach the knockout rounds for the sixth season in succession. The Sky Blues have not failed to progress from their group since the 2012/13 campaign. Consequently, they are clear favourites to win the group and can be backed at 1/9 with Paddy Power.
Elsewhere, the Ukranian outfit are currently struggling at the bottom of the group having only notched two points out of their opening three games. They are not much fancied to win the group, possessing odds of 40/1.
Despite the clear gulf between the two in relation to the current group standings, past history between the two suggest that the game could be closer than most predict. The two teams have come together three times throughout history, with Manchester City winning twice and Shakhtar themselves claiming a win. The latter can be backed at 28/1 with BetVictor to claim three points. Meanwhile, Guardiola’s troops are at 1/10 to come out the victors, with a draw priced at 10/1.
One aspect that Paulo Fonseca will have to be extremely wary of is Manchester City’s extremely talented attack. The Citizens have scored in all but one of their games so far in all competitions, already scoring three or more goals in seven of those games already. They can be backed at 8/15 to repeat that once again. As a matter of fact, Shakhtar have scored 3+ goals in six games this season. They can be backed to do that against City at 40/1.
City forward Aguero is naturally one of the favourites to open the scoring at the Etihad Stadium. Currently Manchester City’s top goalscorer with ten goals in all competitions, he has odds of 5/2. Elsewhere, Junior Moraes, Shakhtar’s top scorer in the Champions League so far this season, can be backed at 13/1 to score the opener.
The Sky Blues have quite an extensive injury list ahead of the game. Kevin De Bruyne has been ruled out until at least December with a ligament problem. Nicolas Otamendi and Ilkay Gundogan are both also doubts, whilst Eliaquim Mangala and Claudio Bravo are missing. In regards to Shakhtar, Ivan Ordets, Maksym Malshyev and Fernando are all restricted to the sidelines.