A victory in Rome will be enough to see City proceed through to the last sixteen of the Champions League. How unlikely did that look just a few weeks ago?
Things started so badly for Manchester City in the Champions League group stages, the side losing their opening game 1-0 at Bayern Munich and drawing 1-1 with Rome. They were then forced to a 2-2 stalemate with CSKA Moscow after going two goals ahead in the first half. Further agony was piled on their campaign with a 2-1 home defeat by the Russian side and only a Sergio Aguero inspired win against Bayern Munich saved them from being dumped out of the competition at the group stage.
They now sit level on points with Roma and CSKA Moscow, hopeful of a victory which would see them safely through to the next round. Roma would also qualify with a win or even a draw should Moscow fail to beat Bayern Munich.
Although Pellegrini will be confident of securing the points on Wednesday, he will be mindful that a defeat for City and a point for Moscow would see his side finish bottom of the group and as such, City will be all out in attack from the start of this encounter.
Roma will be eager to reach the later stages of the competition for the seventh time, Pellegrini’s side looking to manage this for only the second successive time.
Sergio Aguero was the man of the moment in City’s last European outing, scoring a remarkable hat-trick against Bayern Munich and rescuing his side’s Champions League campaign. Nevertheless, Pellegrini will need to compensate for the Argentinian’s absence on Wednesday, the star striker limping off with knee ligament damage after seven minutes of play against Everton.
Yaya Toure will be in the starting eleven, however David Silva will be absent as well as Fernandinho, Stevan Jovetic, Matija Nastasic and Vincent Kompany.
Roma have triumphed all their home matches in Serie A by no less than two goals and they will be confident in the knowledge that they possess the upper hand coming into this clash.
City have failed to keep a single clean sheet in their group campaign and they will hardly be in high spirits, especially since they haven’t won in Italy in any of their last four visits. As such they will struggle against a dynamic Roma side who will have little problem finding a way through the visitors’ defence.
These two sides fought out a 1-1 stalemate in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign and a repeat of this outcome represents decent value at 13/2 with BetVictor.
Edin Dzeko will likely start as lone striker and he offers decent value at 21/10 with the same firm to record his first Champions League goal this season.
Our betting tips
Manchester City to win – Betfred 2/1
Anytime Goalscorer – Edin Dzeko – BetVictor 21/10