Complacent City to make hard work of it
Manchester City play AaB Aalborg at the Energi Nord Arena in their last-16 second leg match on Thursday. City travel to Denmark with a 2-0 win after a comfortable first leg last week.
But Man City on the road compared with them at Eastlands is a stark contrast. Mark Hughes' side are very much a Jekyll and Hyde side.
Too often this season, especially for a £32 million man, Robinho has looked lost and uninterested away from home and there is no reason why the Brazilian will change this against Aalborg.
After the dominance in the first leg, one could be forgiven for thinking that the tie is all but over and the qualification betting certainly suggests this is the case as City are 1/20 to make the quarter-finals with the Danes at 8/1.
On the basis of Man City's previous away performances though this is no sure thing. In all likelihood City's inconsistent form will make it closer than it should be.
Hughes' side are 13/10 favourites to seal off the tie with a second leg win. A home win is priced at 2/1 and the draw 12/5.
At the prices the draw at 12/5 appeals the most. The last time City played in Denmark, against FC Copenhagen in the last round of the UEFA Cup, they drew 2-2 and a similar scoreline looks likely. On that occasion City twice led before conceding and it is this fraility that could make it uneasy against Aalborg.
A correct score of 2-2 can be backed at 14/1 and 1-1 is available at 6/1.
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Aalborg are no mugs despite the inept performance of last week. Previous to the first leg they had been on a 16-game unbeaten run including thrashing Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna 6-1 in the UEFA Cup.
Man City's problem could well be their midfield, as January signing Nigel de Jong is ineligible for the UEFA Cup and with Vincent Kompany an injury doubt the holding duties in midfield could be left to Argentine Pablo Zabaleta.
Zabaleta was at fault for the only goal of the game against Chelsea at the weekend and he doesn't inspire as much confidence as the other two do in the key holding role.
City need an effective holding midfielder to allow the other midfielders to play their own game as Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland and Elano all want to be heading towards the opposition goal rather than running towards their own and defending.
If City score then with the away goal the tie should be beyond the Danes, barring a major defensive calamity.
The favourite to score for City is top-scorer Robinho but as previously mentioned his attitude away from home is appalling. Just one of his 12 goals this season has been scored away from Eastlands.
The Brazilian is shocking scoring form having not scored since 28th December, a run of 11 matches without getting on the scoresheet, so he is definitely one to avoid.
Craig Bellamy will again be absent through injury and leading the line in recent weeks has been Felipe Caicedo. The Ecuadoran scored in the first leg and could well be the one to back to get the first goal at 6/1.
Whichever City side turn up they always provide good value for money be it thrilling attacking play or incompetent defending. You can catch all the action live on FIVE and when the match kicks off at 20:00 our betlive service will be available offering you a whole host of in-running betting opportunities.