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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Lack of away goal could end up costing Man City

Liverpool should advance to semis

Manchester City playmaker David Silva
1 of 1

Champions League quarter-final second leg
BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Tuesday

The Miracle of Manchester or Eastlandsbul - whatever you call it won't make Manchester City's task of upsetting the odds any easier as they aim to overturn Liverpool's 3-0 first-leg advantage in their Champions League quarter-final.

It's advantage the Reds and then some after last week's astonishing Anfield 3-0 triumph, a margin of victory which was established in the opening 31 minutes before the Merseysiders successfully shut out the Premier League champions-elect.

The clean sheet could be vital. City are capable of hammering anyone at the Etihad but Liverpool's counter-attacking ability may ultimately decide the tie and the visitors are fancied to notch an away goal.

With that in mind, a couple of correct-score bets on 2-1 and 3-1 appeal with City set to fall short in their bid to emulate Barcelona's Houdini act of last year. Barce trailed 4-0 from the first leg but beat Paris St-Germain 6-1 in the return to complete the most stunning comeback in Champions League history.

That result was very much the exception to the rule, but there could be a couple of nervy moments before Liverpool book their passage into the semi-finals.

City smashed Liverpool 5-0 at the Etihad in September, a result which owed much to Sadio Mane's early red card, and Pep Guardiola's side had won 13 on the spin at home prior to their recent defeats by Basel and Manchester United.

Guardiola's side were sensational in the first half against United and should have been more than two goals clear before the Red Devils turned that deficit into an unlikely victory to temporarily thwart City's title celebrations.

City failed to have a shot on target in the first game but Liverpool can expect an early onslaught, particularly with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero set to be restored to the starting 11.

Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva will expect to find more space against a Liverpool midfield missing Jordan Henderson, while Trent Alexander-Arnold will once again face a dribbling bombardment from Leroy Sane.

However, one mistake could cost City dear and, as Guardiola said, they need to play perfect football to stand a chance of reaching the last four.

Man City team profile

Liverpool team profile

Roma v Barcelona preview 

Liverpool failed to score in a 0-0 draw at Everton on Saturday but that was only the second time they have fired blanks on the road in 19 matches.

The absence of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah during the Merseyside derby definitely played a part in their average display.

Salah, who has scored 17 goals in his last 15 appearances for Liverpool and 29 Premier League goals in 31 appearances this season, has been a thorn in City's side in recent meetings and one moment could be all Liverpool need to end their comeback bid.

Manchester City to win 2-1
0.5pt 8-1 general
Manchester City to win 3-1
0.5pt 10-1 general

Premier League standings

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Team news
Manchester City
Benjamin Mendy lacks match fitness.

Jurgen Klopp says Mohamed Salah is more likely to play than not, while Alberto Moreno and Andy Robertson return. Adam Lallana, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Emre Can are injured and Jordan Henderson is suspended.

Key stat
Manchester City have scored three or more goals in 12 of their 23 home matches this season.

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Manchester City have scored three or more goals in 12 of their 23 home matches this season
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