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Antony Heath 1st Nov 2011 - 13:45

City to sink the Yellow Submarines

Villarreal v Man City - 19:45 live on ITV 1

Match Day three was a big day in Manchester City's history as they recorded their first ever victory in the UEFA Champions League and kept Villarreal pointless as a result. The 2 sides meet again at El Madrigal with the Yellow Submarines in desperate need of the 3 points to avoid being eliminated with 2 games to play.

Villarreal (11/2) have been suffering problems all season and are more likely to be flirting with the La Liga relegation zone than they are chasing European football if things don't change for them soon. They got a much needed win over Rayo Vallecano at the weekend but still have just 10 points.

Things haven't been any better in Europe for Villarreal either as some of the performances have been pretty inept however they were unlucky to come away with nothing from the fixture at the Etihad after showing some renewed battling spirit. They will again be inconvenienced by an injury list that is on the verge of becoming ridiculous Christian Zapata is the latest to be struck down injured and if he can find space in the treatment room he is joined by Guiseppe Rossi, Nilmar, Cani, Marcos Senna and Marco Ruben.

On paper that leaves the Villarreal team looking rather weak and they will find it difficult to handle high flying City and without Rossi and Nilmar especially you have to wonder where their goals are likely to come from. They have only scored twice in their last 4 league fixtures and Javier Camunas is an injury doubt so the goal scoring duties will be left to Gerard Bordas (12/1 First, 5/1 Anytime) and the likes of Borja Valero (12/1 First, 7/2 Anytime) and Jonathan de Guzman (10/1 First, 7/2 Anytime) supporting from midfield

The Citizens (4/7, draw 13/5) have been flying domestically, only dropping 2 points to date, but have so far failed to emulate that form in Europe where they have just 4 points from their 3 games. They have been scoring for fun in the Premier League, 23 goals in their last 6 fixtures, but have found goals at more of a premium in Europe but should be able to find the net frequently enough to complete the double over Villarreal.

Mario Balotelli (9/2 First, 10/11 Anytime) returns to the squad after serving his 3 game ban and has been in fine form of late. He also has the European pedigree (Champions League winner with AC Milan) that can spark the City attack at the El Madrigal. He's likely to be supported up front by Sergio Aguero (9/2 First, 10/11 Anytime) and playmaker David Silva (13/2 First, 6/4 Anytime) and they should be able to unlock a patched up defence.

City should take another huge step towards the knockout phase with a victory and with the extent if Villarreal's injuries they should be able to get a convincing win. The correct scores of 3-0 (10/1), 3-1 (12/1), 4-0 (18/1) and 4-1 (22/1) are all plausible along with our special Match Winner offer of Man City to score 4 or more goals at 8/1 and are all good value bets.

It looks like a task too far for the Spaniards who are finding it difficult to match their top 4 form of seasons past and the extensive injury list is now something that they won't be able to overcome and I see Man City easing to victory. It's only a matter of time before they start to convert their domestic form into Europe and the last minute winner Aguero scored in the reverse fixture will go along way to galvanising the squad.

Top Bets

Man City -1 @ 11/8

Mario Balotelli first goal @ 9/2

Half of 1st Man City goal - 1st half @ 4/7


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