By William Hill
Last Updated: 26th November 2019
It’s back to European action this week as the Champions League returns to our screens. Just two fixtures remain in the group stages as teams battle to make it into the knockout stages of the competition.
Here is our preview of the pick of the Tuesday night games featuring both Manchester City and Tottenham.
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk
On paper, Shakhtar Donetsk’s trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City looks a bit of a mismatch and the odds agree with the Premier League side the overwhelming 1/8 favourites, their opponents 20/1 and the draw available at 7/1.
Having lost to title rivals Liverpool in their previous Premier League game, Pep Guardiola’s side couldn’t afford anything but a win against Chelsea over the weekend and they duly delivered. It came at a potentially damaging cost, though, as Sergio Aguero picked up an injury which looks like it will keep him out for a few weeks at minimum. City sit on 10 points from four games at the top of Group C and a win would guarantee qualification into the next round.
Their opponents, meanwhile, are still very much in the equation when it comes to passage through to the next round. They can’t expect to get much from this one, though, and they’ll be looking at their last game at home to Atalanta as their best chance of securing their place in the last 16.
City should win this comfortably. They’ve beaten Shakhtar four times from five and have won their last six at the Etihad in the Champions League; the longest streak of any side in the competition. Despite this, they still look shaky at the back and haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last five matches in all competitions. Shakhtar have scored at least once in 11 of their last 12 matches in all competitions, so backing City to win and both teams to score at 13/10 looks the way to go.
Tottenham v Olympiakos
It’s so far so good for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham. An opening victory away to West Ham was just the start he wanted and had it not been for taking their eyes off the ball a little bit towards the end, the victory would have been much more comprehensive than the 3-2 scoreline. This isn’t a bad side by any stretch, but it’s clearly one that was lacking in confidence during the end of Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure and Mourinho will be doing his best to instil the confidence that saw Spurs reach the final of this competition earlier this year. The Portuguese’s side go into this one against Olympiakos as the 24/100 favourites.
It’s win or bust for their Greek opponents here. They’ve lost seven in a row on their travels in the competition and a win is a must if they are to stand any chance of progressing. They gave up 27 shots to Bayern Munich in their last game and their only point came in the reverse fixture, where, in truth, Spurs threw away a two-goal lead. Olympiakos are 11/1 for victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with the draw a 24/5 chance.
The Greeks have conceded 10 in four matches in the Champions League and they’ll surely be fearful of facing the attacking qualities that Spurs have at their disposal. The likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min looked in great form at the weekend, so expect them to get plenty of chances here. The visitors have managed just two shots on target in their two away fixtures so far and with Spurs’ confidence seemingly renewed by Mourinho’s appointment, backing them to win to nil at Evens looks the best bet on offer.