STAR PREVIEW: Steaua Bucharest v Man City
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter the Premier League opening weekend it’s swiftly on to Champions League action tonight with Pep Guardiola’s Man City travelling to Steaua Bucharest for the first leg of their play-off encounter.
City looked ring rusty to me against Sunderland on Saturday, but eventually got over the line with an 87th minute own goal from Paddy McNair.
This is a competition that has so far proved elusive for City but with Guardiola they have the ideal man at the help given he’s already won it twice as a manager with Barcelona.
The key stat for me tonight is that Steaua Bucharest have not won ANY of their last 12 Champions League group games at home.
You need to go back to 1996 for their only win in 21 games which came against Widzew Lodz.
City need to win two-legged tie to progress and Guardiola said: ”We are going to try to score goals and try to convince the players how important it is to play in the Champions League and how beautiful it is and we are going to try and win it.”
Man City will be without Yaya Toure who hasn’t travelled for the match and his long term future must be in doubt alongside Joe Hart who was replaced by the far from convincing Willy Caballero on Saturday. Hart, however, is expected to be back in goal tonight.
Steaua Bucharest v Man City
UEFA Champions League Play-Off 1st Leg
19:45 BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 2 HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
Man City should build up a big enough lead to take back to the Etihad and I expect them to be in front at both half time and full time – at around 11/8 with Star Sports.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK MAN CITY / MAN CITY HT/FT 12 points at 11/8 with Star Sports
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE EUROS: +23.50 points