Wed, Mar 15, 10:14am by Senior Writer
After a goal-fests in their first leg matches, both Manchester City and Atletico Madrid are well poised to progress to the quarter finals of the Champions League when they play the second leg of their ties on Thursday (AEDT).
Manchester City won their home leg against Monaco 5-3, while Atletico had a 4-2 away win at Bayer Leverkusen and the bookies have City at $1.17 to progress with Atletico Madrid at $1.004 to get through.
Two teams have come back from first-leg deficits to win out of the seven second-round matches. Famously Barcelona overturned a 4-0 first leg deficit to defeat PSG 6-1 last week, while on Wednesday, Leicester City came back from 2-1 down in the away leg to win the home leg 2-0 and get through to the final eight.
Man City will be a little wary of Monaco’s home form. They have won six of their past seven home Champions League matches, while they are on an eight-match winning streak at home in all competitions, with a combined for and against over that period of 23-3.
But City’s recent away form has been equally as impressive. They haven’t conceded in their past six away games – that’s 540 minutes, scoring 13 goals. However, in the Champions League that record falls away, with two draws and a loss in their three games in the group stage.
Pep Guardiola has promised to attack despite holding a dominant position in the tie. City will be without Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan.
The $3.50 about Monaco to win this tie and both teams to score looks a good bet.
Atletico also have a two-goal lead but they scored their four goals in Germany and return home with plenty of comfort, knowing a three-goal defeat would be the only situation where they would find themselves out of the competition.
Atletico did lose 3-0 at home to Real Madrid in a La Liga match in November, but that’s their only three-goal home loss since 2012. They are on an eight-match home winning streak in the Champions League and have only lost two of 29 Champions League matches at the Vicente Calderon since 2008.
In contrast, Leverkusen have won just one of their past nine Champions League away matches and they have never won a Champs League away match by a three-goal margin. More recently, they have not won in four games and were beaten 6-2 by Borussia Dortmund two weeks ago in a result which saw manager Roger Schmidt shown the door.
Unlike Leicester City, it didn’t give them an immediate bounce back and they drew 1-1 with Werder Bremen at home on Saturday to remain 10th in the Bundesliga.
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