Manchester City could secure their qualification for the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League as early as Wednesday evening against Atalanta.
Pep Guardiola’s troops currently sit top of Group C having won each of their opening three games in the competition so far this season, a huge five points clear of nearest challengers Dinamo Zagreb. They are understandably overwhelming favourites to win the group with odds as narrow 1/500 with William Hill.
Meanwhile, this week’s opponents Atalanta have endured a terrible start to their first ever Champions League campaign, losing all three games, and sit bottom of the group. In a complete contrast to City’s odds, they are at 250/1 to somehow win the group and 9/1 to qualify for the next stage.
One of their major problems this season has been their inability to keep the ball out of the net. They have conceded four to Dinamo Zagreb, two to Shakhtar Donetsk, following that up with a 5-1 loss to the Citizens last time out, meaning they have shipped on average just over 3.6 goals per game. It could well be a smart bet then for Manchester City to score over 3.5 goals once again, which is available at 5/2 with Betfred.
In all then, the tie is very much predicted to swing in Manchester City’s favour. The reigning Premier League champions have won their last five games in all competitions and are expected to chalk up another victory with odds of 4/9 with Paddy Power. Elsewhere, Atalanta are a lot further behind at 9/2.
In the last game between the two teams, Raheem Sterling notched a hat-trick and he is likely going to be one of the favourites to open the scoring the time around at a price of 4/1. Meanwhile, despite Atalanta’s struggles this season, Luis Muriel remains in stunning form. He has scored a goal every 54 minutes in Serie A this season but is yet to open his account in the Champions League. Despite that, he sits at at 7/1 to score the opening goal on Wednesday.
Regarding injuries, Manchester City are still missing a few key players for what could potentially be their decisive match. Oleksandr Zinchenko, David Silva and Rodrigo are ruled out until the end of the month as they join long-term injury worries Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines.
Atalanta are still missing key forward Duvan Zapata after he was injured in international duty last month. He is unlikely to be ready for this game.