The hills are alive....to the sound of Blue Moon!
Manchester City's fans head to Salzburg, the setting of The Sound of Music, hoping that their team can finally hit the right note in their quest for European success.
Roberto Mancini's men have endured a sluggish start to the Premier League season winning only one of their four matches but could find a Europa League trip to Austria to face Red Bull Salzburg the perfect tonic.
Much was expected of big spending City but having flattered to deceive so far domestically, a flying start in Europe is a necessity if Mancini is to please Sheik Mansour. The man behind the money at Eastlands would have preferred to be overlooking his club playing in the Champions League but having failed to qualify for a place in Europe's premier club competition, the Sheik will have to contend with a tour of the continent via the Europa League.
City are favourites to win in Austria at 6/10 with the hosts priced at a more humble 9/2.
The men from Manchester come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn in the Premier League on Saturday. Mancini is set to give goalkeeper Joe Hart the benefit of the doubt and select him for the game, after being at fault for Blackburn's goal at the City of Manchester stadium.
Salzburg have also stuttered at the start of their domestic campaign as they sit third bottom of the Austrian Bundesliga with just five points from their first five fixtures. They have scored just five goals in those matches and drew 0-0 at home to Lask Linz in their previous league match.
The pre-match betting for this game is dependent on the team that Mancini selects. With an embarrassment of riches in every position and every aspect of his squad, the Italian could change his entire eleven and still put out a world class team.
If Carlos Tevez plays then he will surely be the best option in the goal scoring markets. The Argentinian striker has scored twice so far this season and is also the teams penalty taker. You can get odds of 7/2 that Tevez will open the scoring against Red Bull Salzburg and 10/11 to notch at anytime.
Who will occupy the other attacking roles is yet to be decided. The players vying for the roles will all be aiming to break the deadlock, amongst them Emmanuel Adebayor (7/2), Roque Santa Cruz (9/2), Adam Johnson (15/2) and James Milner (8/1).
A reshuffle of the City pack could see a starting birth for £25 million pound Spanish star David Silva. A member of his country's World Cup winning squad, we are still yet to see the best of the midfield maestro. An outing against Salzburg could be the perfect opportunity to show his class. Silva is 13/2 to strike gold and score the opener.
After drawing another blank in their last game and facing a City defence that has conceded only two goals all season, the chances of Salzburg scoring one let alone winning the game look bleak.
Uruguayan star Joaquin Boghossian signed for Salzburg in the summer after a productive campaign with Newell's Old Boys in Argentina, scoring 17 goals in the 2009/10 season. He will more than likely partner Roman Wallner up front. The well travelled and often controversial striker is priced at 9/1 to open the scoring while Boghossian can be backed at 8s.
I feel that City should have too much for their Austrian counterparts and think that they will triumph 2-0. In the correct score market this has odds of 13/2.