Betting.Betfair Game of the Day: Can Messi match City in Manchester?

Betting.Betfair Game of the Day: Can Messi match City in Manchester?

Man City v PSG
Wednesday 24 November 20:00 kick-off
Live on BT Sport 2

Only one place to be on Wednesday as our Game of the Day journey brings us to the Etihad and a clash of two big European heavyweights, at least in terms of their bank balances, as Man City hosts PSG with top spot in the standings still up for grabs.

PSG are unbeaten in Group A but two draws against RB Leipzig and Club Brugge means they sit a point behind City in the table despite beating Pep Guardiola’s side 2-0 in Paris in September.

City have smashed 15 goals in during the group stages despite that blank in the French capital and their running battle with PSG, and the off-field bragging rights of Middle East owners Abu Dhabi and Qatar, means this fixture is always a high-profile one.

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We’ll have Lionel Messi going up against Guardiola again, City trying to prove they don’t really need a striker, oh and a certain Mauricio Pochettino in Manchester just when there’s a certain job opening just across the city…

Let’s look more into our Game of the Day with some stats and trends to follow along with our betting advice and our special enhanced goal-scorer double from our friends on the trading floor – who are being especially generous as they celebrate Betfair’s Daily Double rewards week.

City out to prove they don’t need Kane

A win for Man City here would secure top spot in the group and also exact some revenge for that loss in Paris where City had 18 attempts on goal and enjoyed the majority of the ball but could not find a goal – most notably when Bernardo Silva missed an absolute sitter.

Anytime City don’t score then the Harry Kane situation rolls around again but they’re largely doing fine putting away chances and had a sending off to blame for their defeat to Crystal Palace the other week. More recently, two league wins with consecutive clean sheets shows how Guardiola likes to operate these days.

They’ve not been so strong at the back in Europe, having conceded seven in four so far, but they’ll hope they can maintain their 100 percent home record against PSG in the Champions League having lost for the first time in six overall meetings last time out.

Missing Kevin De Bruyne with Covid is a big blow as all the stars are needed in this fixture including some of the biggest names in the game – with it being games like these in this competition why Kane may have been needed.

Guardiola will point to the fact only Bayern Munich (17) have scored more than City’s 15 Champions League goals this season, but the proof of the pudding will be in the later stages of the knockouts.

Will Poch be distracted in Manchester?

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Do you think people will realise Mauricio Pochettino is heading to Manchester just as he’s become the big favourite to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? With news emerging reportedly from his camp that he’d love to take the job, you can be sure Poch is well aware of how things stand.

He could always nip off to Old Trafford for a quick interview while he’s in town, right?

The rumblings have already begun but he’s doing a decent enough job this season, with PSG walking away with Ligue 1 again sitting 11 points clear as they arrive here on seven-game unbeaten run that’s been packed with goals – an average of 3.43 per game in fact.

Poch’s PSG haven’t won in their last three Champions League away games though, including last season’s semi-final at the Etihad, and he’s not won a game at the stadium in his last six goes.

He may be slightly distracted by the vacant manager’s desk across the city, but beating Man City here would be the perfect audition tape to send to the Glazers if Poch is serious about taking the job. Plus with Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe it’s hard not to pick a team that at least has a good chance in any game.

22-year-old Mbappe will make his 50th Champions League start on Wednesday night, becoming the second-youngest outfield player to do so behind Cesc Fabregas, who did it just eight days younger!

Stats and best bets

PSG’s away form in this competition is bad enough to make City huge favourites for this game at 1.654/6 – it says something about both them and how strong City are that any side containing Messi, Neymar and Mbappe are 5.04/1 to win a game of football!

Poch’s side have scored in every game and although City’s defence is one of their big strengths this year it’s hard to see them keeping PSG’s front three out for the entire game. Both teams to score seems a dead cert and let’s hope we get the end-to-end game we’re hoping for by backing over 3.5 goals at 2.56/4.

City should enjoy much more of the ball again with no De Bruyne then Jack Grealish and Phil Foden will be tasked in chief creator roles. £100m man Grealish has already been doing so, carving out more chances than any other City player (11) in the Champions League this season.

Grealish has used his dribbling to create eight of those chances and that’s the most in the competition so far – and when that competition has Neymar and Messi in that’s a pretty impressive achievement. Grealish is just 2.77/4 to register an assist as a result.

Speaking of assists, and it seems all the best creators are full-backs now, with Joao Cancelo in superb form setting up goals with five assists in his last three City games – including a hat-trick of them against Brugge. He’s actually a bit of value at 4.03/1 to set-up another goal here.

Cancelo’s actually a nice play in the shots market as well, as he’s had 11 shot on target this season which is only behind Phil Foden (13) and Riyad Mahrez (19) in the Man City charts. Take Cancelo to hit the target just once at a generous 2.35/4.

Aside from the obvious, Moroccan right-back Achraf Hakimi is a little slice of value in the shots market too, given he’s had five on target this season, which is only two less than Neymar, and all five have come away from home. He’s 3.02/1 to continue that trend.

We’ll all be on Messi though won’t we? And he’s slight odds-against at 2.56/4 to score anytime which isn’t actually that short when you consider he’s scored seven goals in seven games against Man City, including a beauty in Paris in September.

It’s a surprise to see Riyad Mahrez as City’s top scorer with eight goals this season. Although five of those came in games against Brugge and Wycombe so there’s a slight flat track bully element to his game.

Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva are the more trusted big-game scorers – with Sterling getting the nod to slot in alongside Messi in our Game of the Day double-up boost after two goals in his last two games for City. Betfair’s traders have kindly enhanced the price on Messi and Sterling to score to 7.06/1