Sports Betting Weekly

AS Roma v Manchester City

When: Thursday, 11 December 2014 @ 01:45 (FINISHED)
Where: Stadio Olimpico
Without naming any names, there was a bit of a gaffe in one of the London’s dailies a couple of weeks ago that boldly declared even a win against Bayern Munich could see Manchester City eliminated from the Champions League if CSKA and Roma shared the points Moscow, but the reality was that the Group E results in Gameweek 5 couldn’t have gone any better for the Sky Blues.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men did their part of the job as an unplayable Sergio Aguero inspired them to a 3-2 victory over an already-qualified Munich at the Etihad, and with CSKA and Roma playing out a 1-1 draw the group is now tantalisingly poised with all of the remaining teams still capable of clinching the runner-up spot – albeit with City’s fate also hinging on events in the game at the Allianz Arena.

With the Russians running out 2-1 winners in Manchester, City will not only have to better CSKA’s result in Munich to avoid losing out on the head-to-head, they’ll also need to at least match their 1-1 draw at home to Roma in order to finish top of that mini-league as well. While it may sound like a tall order for the visitors on paper, there are at least some positive signs ahead of the big match.

The Giallorossi have not played a home match in the Champions League since their 7-1 mauling at the hands of Munich in Gameweek 3 and they face a City side with one of the deadliest marksmen in the competition right now in Aguero. If the Argentine can replicate his match-winning performance from the previous gameweek, the visitors may represent good value to win on the night at 6/4 and – assuming CSKA cannot halt Munich’s impressive home form – even better value to qualify at evens.

While you would normally expect a game of this magnitude to play out quite cagily, games at the Stadio Olimpico have not lacked for goals in the Champions League this season and a total of 14 in two home games cannot be ignored. Given the hosts have plenty of options going forward themselves in Francesco Totti, Juan Iturbe and a rejuvenated Gervinho plus the fact that the extent of the hamstring injury suffered by visiting captain Vincent Kompany is not yet known, backing over 3.5 goals in the game at 21/10 could be the way to go, while the truly brave can get 9/2 on over 4.5.