Very few sides can say they’ve won to nil against pep Guardiola’s Man City side but Spurs travel to Manchester after doing exactly that in the first leg. The North London club are in the driving seat but can they see it through?
A lengthy injury list
The most notable absentee of this clash is of course: Harry Kane. The Englishman is the focal point for Spurs and has been their talisman now for several years. He limped off in the first leg and was later seen leaving the stadium on crutches and it is unconfirmed if he will play again this season or not. Tottenham did score their goal however without Kane on the pitch as Heung-Min Son smashed the ball low past Ederson to give his side a slender but crucial advantage for the second leg. The Korean forward has been a real star for Spurs this season and has always stepped up when called upon especially in the absence of Kane at earlier points in the season. Son has hit 18 goals and assisted a further nine this season, he’s the shortest odds of any Spurs player to score at 3.5 anytime with five City players available at shorter odds. One that catches my eye is Lucas Moura at 5.0 anytime, the Brazilian netted a hat trick at the weekend and is pushing for a start here, his pace could prove crucial on the counter if Spurs are to nick an away goal.
City still favourites
At 1.67 to qualify, The Citizens edge out Spurs at 2.1. City have won 16 of their 17 home league matches this season and have scored 55 goals along the way, we’re all aware of their ability going forward and Tottenham will have to be extremely regimented to be able to pull off a result. If Spurs can get a goal then things get really tough for City as they’ll then need three of their own to be able to qualify. Their last home tie in The Champions League saw them smash seven goals past German side Schalke but this will be a very different proposition. Spurs will sit deep and play for a goal on the counter, they’ll use Son’s tireless running to try and probe when they get the chance but their defence will need to be at the top of its game here.
Tottenham’s worry lies with if City score early. If they get one within the first 20 minutes I can’t see them not getting more, as once The Sky Blues get in to their rhythm that’s when their opponents are really up against it. If you fancy this game to get going early you could back over 0.5 first half goals at a price of 1.2.
If you were going for a goal scorer then the obvious choice is Sergio Aguero but he’s at just 1.62 anytime and 3.6 first. The value for me lies with Leroy Sane; he has four goals already in The Champions League this season and in a tight game he has that bit of magic and explosive pace to make something happen and he can be found at higher odds of 2.63 anytime and 6.5 first.
Stats point to goals
In the last eight meeting between these two at The Etihad there has been over 2.5 goals and in seven of those eight – City have scored at least two goals. Over 2.5 goals is priced at 1.44 and I think that’s a wise choice as this second leg will open up much more than the first. I struggle to see Spurs holding on, they may be able to fore extra time but City are just so strong going forward, especially at home. Tottenham have lost six of their last seven away games and will have to hope for a bit of luck as well if they want to leave here with a semi-final spot, they’re up at 10.0 to win the match in 90 minutes.
Manchester City to qualify @ 1.67
Leroy Sane to score anytime @ 2.63
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.44