For a man that has reached at least the Champions League semi-finals in all but one of his attempts, Pep Guardiola has a surprisingly below-par away record in Europe’s top club competition when it comes to knockout fixtures. At his three clubs, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and now Manchester City, the Spaniard has won just four away legs in 22 attempts; this, though, has still seen him win two titles.
There are clearly circumstances between each failure away from the comforts of home – such as still winning the home leg clearly – but it is a frequent enough occurrence to make Tuesday night’s first-leg against Basel in the last-16 of the competition look far from a foregone conclusion.
Though they were eliminated by eventual semi-finalists AS Monaco last season at the same stage, City’s domestic form is so good that it is hard to see any team, let alone Basel, stop them as they target a first ever Champions League trophy.
The Premier League club have a 16-point lead following the weekend’s results and are on course to win the title by early April – should they still be involved continentally then Guardiola would be able to rotate his massively talented squad in their quest for an unprecedented four trophies. City convincingly won Group F with five wins, and it is their attack that will worry their Swiss hosts primarily; they have scored 79 in the Premier League, with 107 in all completions.
Basel are second in their domestic division, which is something of a surprise as they have won the last eight Swiss Super League titles. They are five points behind Young Boys after 21 games and are in real danger of losing out this time around having won just 12 times. They have impressed in the Champions League, however, and have shown a liking to the big occasion – they beat Manchester United at St. Jakob-Park in November and ultimately finished just three points behind the Red Devils.
With the Champions League and Europa League back in action after a break, Tipbet.com is the ideal betting website for a great selection of odds. For the match in Switzerland, it is highly likely that City will score an away goal, which will make their passage to the last-eight that much easier – they are 1.35 to win on the night, while it is 1.95 that both find the net.
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