Manchester City have a 1-0 deficit to overturn if they are to progress to the next stage of the Europa League at the expense of Sporting Lisbon and as they enjoy home advantage in the second leg, Roberto Mancini’s men are Blue Square’s 4/7 favourites to qualify as well as being just 3/10 via William Hill to win on the night.
Admittedly, City’s priority is the Premier League title, especially as they have relinquished top spot following the loss at Swansea but as they don’t have a domestic match this weekend, Mancini can afford to select a strong team for this contest and that can see his side eliminate their Portuguese opponents.
As they failed to register an away goal last week, a 1-0 victory for Manchester City, at 13/2 (Coral) would take the tie to extra time and the hosts are 12/1 courtesy of Sportingbet to secure their place in the next round during that 30 additional minutes.
However, City have the quality to get the job done in normal time and BetVictor’s 11/2 for them to notch twice without reply is subsequently worth considering while Betfred post 3/1 against a Sergio Aguero opener at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester United were stunned by a slick Athletic Bilbao outfit at Old Trafford last Thursday, going down 3-2 to the La Liga side, who are now 1/4 with Skybet to get through to the next round.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges are Stan James’ 3/1 outsiders to qualify and with a crucial league match on United’s agenda on Sunday, not to mention a deficit to overcome, they could be willing to sacrifice this one.
They would have mountain to climb in any case, if Bilbao’s first leg performance is anything to go by and so despite United’s 6/4 favouritism with Paddy Power, it’s the Basque team, Boylesports’ 15/8 chances, that could emerge triumphant at the San Mames Stadium.
Double on Man City and Athletic Bilbao – 11/4 (Coral)