12th of February 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Premier League leaders Manchester City travel to Switzerland on Tuesday to face FC Basel in the first leg of their Champions League first knockout round tie. The two teams have never met before in an European competition but FC Basel have good memories from the last time they met a team from Manchester as they defeated Manchester United 1-0 in the group stage in November. On the other hand, Manchester City have never played against a Swiss team before in an European competition.
FC Basel have upset the odds to get this far in the Champions League this season, they finished second in Group A behind Manchester United after having won four of their six matches. They have been on a long winter break since December until the start of February, so they have played just two competitive matches after the end of the Champions League group stage. They won 2-0 at Thun last weekend and they are second in the Swiss top flight. Germano Vailati is injured, while defender Manuel Akanji moved to Borussia Dortmund during the January transfer window.
Manchester City are expected to dominate this match and secure qualification from the first leg. They have finished at the top of Group F after having won five of their six matches and they are also dominating the Premier League with 23 victories out of 27 matches. Last weekend the Citizens hammered Leicester City 5-1, with Sergio Aguero bagging four goals. Benjamin Mendy, Fabian Delph and Gabriel Jesus are still injured, but David Silva and Leroy Sane have almost recovered and might play on Tuesday.
FC Basel: Vaclik - Lang, Suchy, Balanta, Petretta - Xhaka, Die - Stocker, Elyounoussi, Bua - Oberlin
Man City: Ederson - Walker, Stones, Kompany, Danilo - De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D. Silva - B. Silva, Aguero, Sterling
My prediction: Manchester City to win 3-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
FC Basel win - 11.00
Draw - 5.00
Man City win - 1.36
18th of September 2018
2nd of October 2018
The Swiss champion really couldn't been a match for the high flying visitors who dominating the English PL and have a huge ambitions in this tournament too.
Guardiola could use some of his reserves in the second leg and it would be still a comfortable progress for the quarters, I think he will do that.
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