Tuesday 21st February 2016 Kickoff: 1945hrs Manchester City v Monaco Football – Europe – Champions League The second set of last 16 fixtures take place over Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and they look more evenly matched than some of the games played last week. One that certainly falls into that category is Manchester City against Monaco which may not have looked as competitive if the draw was made eight months ago. City have regained some much needed form of late but they will have their hands full against a Monaco team who lead PSG in Ligue 1 and have been scoring for fun.
The decision to entice Pep Guardiola to City, and pay the many that comes with it, was to improve the club’s performance in the Champions League. Manuel Pellegrini eventually led them to the last four in his final season but they rarely looked like threatening Real Madrid over the two legs and went out tamely. Guardiola has of course won this competition twice as manager as Barcelona but could not get his previous club Bayern beyond the last four stage. It was not a vintage group stage by any means but they did show that on their day, this City team can compete and beat the best when brushing aside Barcelona 3-1 at the end of October. As ever though, achieving that consistency is key and that performance was more the exception than the norm meaning they had to settle for second spot. Being drawn against Monaco definitely presents them an opportunity but they’re also a team who cannot afford to underestimate an opponent.
Monaco have been a breath of fresh air in Ligue 1 this term as their attacking football has been one of the big stories of the European season. Not only is their style of play pleasing on the eye but it’s effective as well, and the team from the principality are putting it up to PSG who have dominated French football of late. What makes their league form that bit more impressive is the fact they have been able to combine their efforts with progress to this stage of the Champions League – a campaign which they started back in July. They had to negotiate two tricky encounters against Fenerbahce and Villareal before being drawn against Tottenham, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow. Monaco deservedly topped that group, losing only one game which was on match day six in what was a meaningless game for them having already qualified. They come into this game with more than a fighting chance and will cause plenty of problems for City.
Manchester City v Monaco Betting Tips
These two have never met in a competitive game before but City only have to look at Monaco’s recent record against English teams to realize how difficult both legs will be. Monaco accounted for Arsenal two seasons ago – turning in an excellent performance at the Emirates – whilst they also won home and away against Tottenham and were the better team in both games. City took seven points from their three home games in the group stage and considering they did not win any of the reverse fixtures, will feel they may need a lead to take to Monte Carlo for the second leg.
Games involving Monaco virtually guarantee entertainment and although City have tightened up of late, they are yet to convince against an attack such as the one that Tuesday’s opponents possess. The visitors are spearheaded in attack by Radamel Falcao but they are known for scoring goals from all over the park. Guardiola will no doubt have something up his sleeve to combat that but there remains a fragility about this team. Four of Monaco’s six group games seen both teams scoring whilst three of City’s also seen the same outcome , and it looks a safe selection to click on this occasion.
Both teams to score 7/10 @ Betfair