Can Last Year’s Top Four Finishers Manchester City Get the Win in an Exciting Champion’s League First Leg
The round of 16 in the Champion’s League had a strong start with lots of exciting games in the opening round.
There must Soccer fans who are still shocked with the crazy results from the opening match.
Real Madrid and Bayern were successful, but they still have four games left.
Today’s topic is a game everyone is excited about, Manchester City vs Monaco.
We can expect a pretty exciting game with these two powerhouses battling each other.
Let’s predict the game, by examining each team, as well as the odds.
AS Monaco, who has been at the top in the French League with 59 points.
The team who is chasing after Monaco are perennial contenders PSG, who recently had a 4-0 shocking upset against Barcelona in the CL.
It is worth praising Monaco for staying at the top of the league above even powerhouse club PSG.
The key player for them is Radamel Falcao, who had a rough stint in the Briish Premier League, is now playing great in the French League.
He doesn’t have so many opponents to fear now that he has been playing well enough to earn comparisons to powerhouse teams forwards.
On the other hand, Manchester City who are second in the BPL, didn’t look so sharp in their game against Bournemouth although they pulled out a victory.
There were errors in judgement regarding offsides, star player Jesus was injured, as well as the poor side defense by Fernandinho.
Even though they seem to be on a roll with their past few victories, they can’t rest on their laurels, as there have been cracks in the facade lately.
They especially struggled defending side attacks from their opponents.
In regards to the game against Monaco they need to drastically improve their defense.
The key point for the game is how Monaco will deploy their tactics against City’s weak points. Also how City can improve on their own weak points.
For Monaco the best option seems to be attacking through the middle. City has weak points on both sides, especially their left side defense, so they want to attack there if possible.
They should target Sagna and Fernandinho by attracting Toure. If they can do this successfully, and focus on moving quickly from the middle to the side attack when they counter, it will be good.
Manchester CB Stones lacks covering ability, so if Monaco can successfully perform a side attack, they can break City’s defense pretty well.
However, City’s forwards are skilled passers, so if Monaco presses too hard they could end up giving up goals.
So the defense should keep their eyes on the forwards, and be careful of off the ball attacks, if they lose possession.
It would be especially dangerous to give Silva and De Bruyne free space to do as they please.
Monaco will have a hard time if Silva can lead the defense as he pleases, and passes through the openings they leave behind.
There is also a big risk to playing high press defense against City. [You can also say it is a strong attack in how it leads to counters.]
They will have a hard time keeping a clean sheet if they start chasing Silva and De Bruyne because of mistakes in the mid field, and losing possession.
Though, with away goals counting for more in the CL format, the risk may be worth the reward.
They want to aim for Sterling, he has a lot of pace, but he tends to hold the ball too long.
If they can tackle well in the midfield and against City’s forward, they can employ their quick attacks at maximum efficiency.
They should follow Atletico’s low risk high pressure style as an example. If they do this, they can cover for their teammates well, and gain possession when the timing is right.
City will be in trouble if Monaco is able to put up such synchronized pressure. [Pep is good at breaking up opponent’s cooperative defense, but he is not as good as he was in the past with Barcelona and Bayern.]
Monaco is hoping for at least one away goal, but even if they can pull off a draw it’s not bad.
Once City starts getting frustrated with Monaco’s tough defense, things should start to work in Monaco’s favor.
Now let’s look at williamhil’s odds.
Manchester City has a higher advantage, and there is a huge gap in the odds. It’s probably because City is playing in their home ground.
Though Monaco has a history of matching well with BPL teams. [In the past they have 8 wins 4 draws and 4 losses against BPL teams.]
Especially the 14-15 season they had a crazy finish with a defense quick attack against Arsenal. [At Arsenal’s home ground they pulled off a 3-1 victory.]
There are some similarities between Wenger’s Arsenal, and the current City squad’s tactics.
They definitely won’t be an easy opponent for Monaco.
City is also known to be a good match against French League teams, winning their last three matches against French teams.
But all three games were against PSG, so it is difficult to get an overall picture. Though they probably don’t have a bad chance against the French league compared to their domestic competition.
Considering these factors City probably has around a 60-70% chance of victory.
Monaco is probably feeling like a draw game would be a satisfactory result.
From this we can probably predict Monaco will be play a tight low risk game.
Champion’s League round of 16 first leg will be on February 21st. Given that the game is at City’s home ground spectator’s are definitely giving them the edge.
Of course there must be so many fans who still can’t forget the loss against Barcelona. The current City team has a lot of weak points, and if Monaco can expose them they can have a much higher chance of victory.
We can expect this game on February 21st to live up to the other crazy games we have seen so far this tournament.
Champion’s League 2016-2017 has shown us that upsets are to be expected. This year’s tournament may continue this trend still.