Manchester City will be aiming for their first victory of the 2012/2013 Champions League on Wednesday evening when they travel to Ajax in a very important fixture for their qualification hopes.
After two games, many betting punters are already writing off City’s chances of progressing from Group D. They only have one point so far and like last season, a slow start is threatening their hopes of progressing very far in the competition.
Some sportsbooks are still giving City a chance of turning things around though. Roberto Mancini’s men are 10/11 with Skybet to qualify, so they are still in the mix. There is no doubt that a lot rests on Wednesday night though.
Lose in Holland and for many, all bets are off. This would move Ajax above City, meaning the Premier League Champions have it all to do. Three points would be very welcome indeed and City need to screw their European football head on.
It doesn’t matter how the win comes either. If it is a scrappy 1-0 win for example – that’s just fine. The performance was there at Real Madrid in the opening game of the group, but so was a defeat and this counts for nothing.
Mancini would love to lay a marker down in terms of City’s position as one of the strongest teams around, but winning games has to come first.
At the weekend, West Brom looked likely to upset the betting odds with a win over City, but the away side fought back and more of the same is needed on Wednesday. Then, if they manage to get the lead, they need to hold onto it.
As for Ajax, they are arguably in a more desperate position than their English opponents. It has been two games and two defeats so far, meaning that defeat on Wednesday and their hopes of qualifying are all but over. They simply have to make home advantage count.
When it comes to placing a bet on this one, the bookies have City down as the favourites at 8/11 with Bet Victor. Make no mistake about it though, Ajax will get plenty of backing with good value odds of 4/1 with Ladbrokes.
Considering City’s shaky Champions League form and Ajax’s home advantage, a draw should be a decent shout for your bet too. This is available at 11/4 with Paddy Power.
With City’s line-up reasonably unpredictable, we are steering clear of any goalscorer markets, but advise both teams to score at 4/6 with Boylesports.
The pressure is on for this 7.45pm kick-off on Wednesday.