Manchester City v Basel Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
March 05, 2018
Etihad Stadium - Champions League
Manchester City head into the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie with Basel protecting a four goal advantage. The Swiss club won't fancy their chances of progressing, although with little to play for in the league, will be sure to make a good go of it.
The first leg of this fixture, which took place at St Jakob Park, saw an utterly dominant display from Man City. The Blues scored three in the first 25 minutes, with Ilkay Gundogan starting the scoring, followed up on by Bernado Silva and Sergio Aguero. With almost 75% of possession, the German midfielder added to his sides dominance by a second goal in the 53rd minute.
Fernandinho has joined Benjamin Mendy on the sidelines, with the central midfielder a big miss for Pep Guardiola's side. However, with the tie pretty much in the bag, the manager may decide to rotate his side, potentially affording Gabriel Jesus his first start since returning from injury.
Taulant Xhaka is suspended for the second leg, having picked up a yellow in the 4-0 defeat. Basel are also without Eder Balanta and Germano Vailati who have been injured for three weeks and a four months respectively.
Manchester City v Basel Preview and Predictions
Manchester City's march to the treble is unlikely to falter in Wednesday's came, with Guardiola's side able to rely on a four goal aggregate lead. City have been scoring an average of three goals per game over their past five matches, and are more likely to increase their advantage rather than see it reduced.
The reverse fixture kick-started Basel's worst run so far this season, having failed to win in their two following games. Admittedly, these were against the other two teams in the Super League's top three, yet this is unlikely to do any favours to the player's confidence.
What may help, however, is the fact that Raphael Wicky's side has seen two of their last three games postponed, meaning that they won't be suffering from the hectic schedule that City have had to endure in recent weeks. Then again, fatigue always seems to matter less when a team in winning their games, and the Blues have won all but one of the last six matches.
Wicky will hope that Guardiola fields a weakened team, just three days after the side's win at Chelsea, allowing his side a way back into the tie. However, even City's second string side appear capable of progressing far in the Champions League, and the Swiss side may have to accept their fate.
Gabriel Jesus to score anytime at 5/7
The forward should get a lot of game time and will be keen to make an impression.
Over 3.5 goals scored at 6/5
Basel have nothing to lose and will attack City, who will benefit from an open defence.