Manchester City vs. Sporting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Champions League Betting Guide (March 9)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City standout Riyad Mahrez.
- Manchester City welcome Portuguese side Sporting to Etihad Stadium for Wednesday's UCL clash.
- The Cityzens have all but advanced to the quarterfinal round after earning a 5-0 win in the first leg, so finding motivation might be an issue for the Cityzens.
- Brett Pund takes a deep dive into this contest and unveil his best bet.
Man City vs. Sporting Odds
|Man City Odds||-650|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+100 / -135)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+ | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Following a convincing Round of 16 victory in the first leg of their matchup, Manchester City returns to Champions League action Wednesday when it hosts Sporting CP at Etihad Stadium.
The Premier League leaders enter into the second leg with a five-goal advantage following a 5-0 victory over the Portuguese side in Lisbon.
As for the visitor, the Primeira Liga club has had an up-and-down UCL campaign. However, no challenge will be harder than trying to overcome the deficit it's facing at entering this contest.
There have been some large comebacks in recent years in the European competition, but I don’t think you should expect that to happen here.
Can Man City Find Motivation for Match?
The big question surrounding this game is how much City cares about this contest. You also have to wonder if there will be some rotation in the squad to maintain fresh legs for the upcoming EPL schedule.
However, even if there are changes to the lineup, manager Pep Guardiola has built more than enough squad depth to handle this challenge.
His Man City squad only trails Bayern Munich for the best expected-goals difference in the Champions League this season at +11.3, according to fbref.com, and sits second in xG (16.9) in the competition.
In the English top flight, the Cityzens lead the league in xG difference (+44.3), opponents’ xG per match (0.73) and shots allowed per game (6.61) this season.
Sporting Chasing Monumental Comeback
The main question we could ask City also applies to Sporting as well, because if we’re being honest, this big of a comeback away from home is highly unlikely.
Entering the match in second in the Portuguese top flight, this could be an opportunity to rest some key players to make a push for the domestic title.
The Portuguese club was runner-up in a group that included Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Beşiktaş, advancing after a trio of wins and losses.
Sporting also has key players who will likely miss out due to injury, specifically Pedro Gonçalves and João Palhinha. They have combined for 10 goals and five assists in league play this season.
BJ Cunningham's UCL Projections
Betting Analysis & Pick
When we look at the odds at BetMGM, City is listed as the heavy -650 moneyline favorite. The total is set at 3.5 goals.
This is a very difficult game to handicap with all of the question marks in attitude and squad names following the first leg. However, I do think there is still good value on the board.
That said, my favorite bet is Manchester City to Win to Nil at -135 odds.
At home this season, Guadiola’s team has earned a clean sheet in nine of 14 (64%) EPL games, holding foes to an average of 0.679 xG per 90 minutes.
This is the same team that only allowed 2.3 xG at home in the UCL group stage against much tougher opposition in Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.
As for the visitors, their numbers look better than they actually are. If you remove the victories against a Beşiktaş team that lost all of its UCL matches, Sporting averaged just 0.9 xG in games against Dortmund and Ajax.
The Cityzens held Sporting to just 0.1 xG in the first leg as well.
This same bet cashed in the first meeting, so I think it’s the best value on the board to repeat again.
Pick: Man City to Win to Nil (-135)