Sergio Aguero may be the key to unlocking riches in the UEFA Champions League in a week when none of the four games leaps off the coupon as being a match on which to bet one’s house.
Yaya Toure’s stoppage-time goal in Ukraine three weeks ago means that Manchester City has a vice-like grip on its UEFA Champions League tie versus Dynamo Kyiv and the Ukrainian Premier League team must score three goals in normal time of Tuesday’s second leg to stand any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals. Dynamo Kyiv cannot afford to stand on ceremony at the Etihad Stadium and that should result in plenty of open spaces for Manchester City’s star striker.
Aguero has endured an injury-interrupted season but he has returned from his latest spell on the sidelines in decent form, particularly at the Etihad Stadium. Aguero has found the back of the net in four of his six home appearances for Manchester City since the turn of the year, including four of his last five such starts. It was Aguero who opened the scoring in last month’s UEFA Champions League game between Dynamo Kyiv and Manchester City and he is the most likely beneficiary of the huge away underdog having to chase the tie from the first whistle at the Etihad Stadium. One does not want to steam into Manchester City at general odds of -175 for a UEFA Champions League match that the Citizens do not have to win – they could draw, lose 0-1, lose 0-2 or lose 1-2 and still progress – five days out from the second Manchester derby of the English Premier League competition. But Aguero is hungry for goals, the state of the tie should ensure that he receives opportunities and he is available at odds of -137 with Coral and William Hill to score.
Arsene Wenger’s long reign as Arsenal’s king may be coming to an unhappy conclusion because many Gunners fans think that he is not the manager to take their side forward.
Wenger is in desperate need of some brownie points and one expects him to send out his Arsenal team to have a crack at retrieving its UEFA Champions League tie against Barcelona even though the Gunners lost their home first leg 2-0 three weeks ago. However, one thinks that it may end in tears.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique rested Luis Suarez on Saturday, telling reporters after Barca’s 6-0 Spanish Primera Division home victory that the former Liverpool striker had played 850,000 games, 850,000 minutes. Enrique’s mathematics may have been wrong – actually, there is no doubt that they were incorrect – but one thinks that he picked an excellent time to freshen up Suarez, who is trading at slightly longer odds than Lionel Messi to score versus Arsenal even though the former has netted half a dozen more goals than the latter.
Coral is offering odds of -137 about Suarez scoring a UEFA Champions League goal versus an Arsenal side that he may have joined had Liverpool not blocked his move to the Gunners. Suarez makes more appeal than either Barcelona to win at odds of -385 with Marathonbet or Messi to score at odds of -161 with Coral. Suarez is Barcelona’s central forward, he is 100 per cent fit and his pace has the potential to tear apart Arsenal’s defence on Wednesday.
Finally, Atletico Madrid to beat PSV in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match without conceding a goal is one’s final recommended play at odds of -120 with Paddy Power.
Atletico Madrid controlled the UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg in the Netherlands long before PSV attacker Gaston Pereiro was sent off in the 68th minute for two cautionable offences. PSV managed just one attempt on target and one corner kick despite having only marginally less possession than Atletico Madrid. PSV accrued only one UEFA Champions League Group B road point and that was courtesy of a lucky 0-0 draw at Manchester United so one does not hold out much hope for the Dutch Eredivisie team at the Vicente Calderon.
One expects that Atletico Madrid will not take many risks because an away goal for PSV has the potential to make life difficult for the Mattressers. Atletico Madrid specialises in low-scoring wins and, if the idea of betting at odds on leaves you cold, you could dutch the Mattressers to defeat PSV 1-0 or 2-0 and strike a wager at odds against.
Sergio Aguero to score at any time (Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev)
Tuesday 15th March, 19:45 GMT
Luis Suarez to score at any time (Barcelona v Arsenal)
Wednesday 16th March, 19:45 GMT
Atletico Madrid to beat PSV to Nil
Tuesday 15th March, 19:45 GMT