Manchester City can pretty much assure itself a spot in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League if they can beat CSKA Moscow Tuesday.
Man City is the huge home betting favorite in this match, according to the soccer odds monitored by OddsShark.com, and with good reason.
They have scored nine goals in their last two matches, seven in their last one, and their only home loss this season came at the hands of Bayern Munich.
In Group D play, Bayern Munich has nine points with Man City having six, CSKA Moscow with three, and Viktoria Plzen with none.
When these two teams met in the last CL meeting in Russia, Man City beat CSKA Moscow 2-1.
Oddsmakers have Manchester City as big home favorites on the Champions League odds menu at -500 with CSKA Moscow at +1600 and a draw line of +650.
CSKA Moscow sits in fourth place in the Russian Premier League table and they have won their last two league matches scoring seven goals. However, those wins came against Krasnodar and Volga Nizhny Novgorod, who are hardly elite teams.
Man City’s Sergio Aguero, who scored both goals in the earlier match up with CSKA Moscow, has scored the same amount of goals (three) as both of CSKA’s only scorers so far in the Champions League.
The CSKA defense will be up against a City offense that has scored, by a wide margin, the most goals in England Premier League play. Yaya Touré and Aguero have combined for 13 goals this season in league play.
CSKA Moscow must play better in the midfield then they did in the first encounter when Man City won the possession battle (59% to 41%). That is a tall task on English soil.
The City defense must concentrate on set pieces, as more than a quarter CSKA Moscow’s goals on the season have come off set pieces.
Manchester City Captain Vincent Kompany and Stevan Jovetic are out with injuries and the big question is whether or not goalkeeper Joe Hart will get his starting job back. His run of 123 straight matches started ended with City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea and backup Costel Pantilimon has two clean sheets in a row.
A bigger question might be whether CSKA can mount a serious attack. They are outmatched in the midfield and they do not possess an explosive offense, only ranking sixth in goals in league play.
Former Manchester United player Zoran Tosic — who scored against City in their earlier match — and Japanese international Keisuke Honda will have play well up front for the Russian side to pull off the major upset.