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Champions League betting preview: Manchester City to struggle against Roma

9/12/2014
A strong showing at the weekend by Manchester City saw them gain ground on title rivals Chelsea, but they will need to be at their best to beat Roma to second spot in Champions League Group E.

Both teams will be looking for nothing less than a win, with a draw opening the door to Russians CSKA Moscow if they can overcome the odds against Bayern Munich.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men may sit second in the Premier League but they have performed in fits and starts this season, with the holes at the back that have long plagued the Sky Blues not yet patched by the £32m arrival of Eliaquim Mangala.

At times this term Manchester City have looked a Sergio Aguero injury away from being a sluggish and predictable side, and shorn of the talismanic striker by a knee ligament injury they will look to Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic to fill the void.

Roma rested the experienced pair of Francesco Totti and Ashley Cole against Sassuolo on Saturday, and will be strengthened by the return of midfield schemer Kevin Strootman from injury.

With both side's hopes of progressing on a knife edge, home side Roma are justifiable 2.45 favourites with Winner, and a frontline containing the livewire Adam Ljajic and ex-Arsenal winger Gervinho certainly has what it takes to send the English champions home early.

Roma have scored two goals or more in every one of their Serie A fixtures at the Stadio Olimpico, ands odd of 1.25 from Winner for over 1.5 goals scored look appealing when considering that City have failed to record a clean sheet in any of their Champions League games this season.

However, with Stevan Jovetic eager to forget an injury-ravaged first season for Manchester City, and to return to the kind of form that saw him hailed as one of Serie A’s leading lights whilst at Fiorentina, Bet365’s odds of 2/1 for the skilful Montenegrin to score at any time could prove a shrewd bet.

Tom Lewis
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