Citizens all but through
After a comfortable 5-0 win at Sporting three weeks ago, there’s little jeopardy for Man City coming into this clash. They’re basically guaranteed a place in the last eight, but they have the chance to extend their lead in the home leg.
City won 4-1 against rivals Man United at the weekend, keeping them on course for a treble this term. After that comfortable win, you have to worry for a Sporting side who have been defensively vulnerable in Europe.
Sporting to be outclassed
Sporting have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 13 away matches in the Champions League, conceding 31 goals in the process (2.4 per game). They didn’t really boost their record this term, especially after losing 4-2 at Ajax in their last away game in Europe.
Sporting have also lost all three of their matches in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, conceding 17 goals in total. That’s the quickest that any side has conceded 17 knockout round goals in this competition, with Basel (6) the next quickest.
Another big win for City
Manchester City have won each of their last six home matches in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, while they had a perfect record at home in the group stage. City scored 12 times across their three home matches in the last round, while they’ve scored 23 times across seven matches in the competition this term.
Sporting were outclassed in both meetings with Ajax this term, having conceded nine times across their two meetings. I’m backing City to score another three goals in this game, while a 3-1 victory in my correct score prediction given Sporting have scored in five of seven games in Europe.
Meanwhile, Riyad Mahrez has scored six Champions League goals in 2021-22. The Algerian needs one more strike to set a record for most goals in a single season in the competition by a City player. Having scored in seven of his last nine City games – hitting nine goals in that run – Mahrez is a great anytime scorer option.
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