• Mon 5 Dec, 2016
  • 00:46 GMT
  • 20:46 ET (GMT-4)
  • 02:46 CET (GMT+2)

City To Edge Low-Tempo Affair

Live on ESPN & ITV 4: Thu 20.05: Man City should progress to the last 16 of the Europa League against Aris but it may not rain goals.

Man City welcome Aris Thessaloniki to Eastlands as they look to close out this last 32 encounter as 2/9 favs with Betfred, but the goals may not rain down like the Manchester weather.

After drawing the 1st leg in Greece 0-0, City are in a strong 2/13 position with Stan James to qualify and most will be expecting the cash-rich Blues to coast through.

Aris are 14/1 outsiders to win () but a draw will be massively beneficial to their cause, an 11/2 chance with YouWin.com in 90 minutes.

In fact, any score draw will see Aris progress, surely something that is in the back of the minds of the City players, a 1-1 stalemate is 14/1 at Coral while an exciting 2-2 encounter is 40′s at Skybet. Surely the Aris players will target this, entrenching the match in a defensive display.

The opening goal could be key to this match – an Aris opener at 4/1 (Coral) would be a massive shock to City’s system and could set up a thrilling match.

Given City’s tendency to start slowly (as they did with Notts County), that is not a hugely unlikely eventuality but the way Aris sat behind the ball at their own ground does not encourage an away success.

City are 5/6 (bet365) to see out a win to nil while a low-tempo and uninspiring 1-0 victory is 7.5 (13/2) with Betdaq, which will see them through to face Dynamo Kiev. A match with under 3 goals is an over-priced 7/5 with Coral.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Dynamo Kiev are 7/10 (888sport) to beat Besiktas and Ajax are 8/11 with Boylesports to beat Anderlecht which are both good prices but given the home teams are as good as through, they are perhaps best avoided.

Villarreal and Napoli played out a very balanced tie last time out and at 13/5 (Betfred), could be in line for another draw in Spain. At 5/4 with Stan James, Napooli could sneak through on away goals in a 1-1 draw (6/1, Ladbrokes).

Finally, FC Twente are a decent 10/11 (Paddy Power) to beat far-travelling Rubin Kazan.

Thursday 24 February:
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Metalist Kharkiv (18:00)
Liverpool v AC Sparta Praha (18:00)
PSV Eindhoven v Lille OSC (18:00)
Spartak Moscow v FC Basel (18:00)
Sporting CP v Rangers (18:00)
Zenit Saint-Petersburg v BSC Young Boys (18:00)
Ajax v Anderlecht (20:05)
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas JK (20:05)
FC Twente v Rubin Kazan (20:05)
Manchester City v Aris Thessaloniki (20:05)
Paris Saint-Germain v FC BATE Borisov (20:05)
Sporting de Braga v Lech Poznan (20:05)
VfB Stuttgart v Benfica (20:05)
Villarreal v Napoli (20:05)

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