Three Manchester City defenders have been pointed towards early baths against Barcelona at the round-of-16 stage of the Champions League over the past 13 months, and the stars seem aligned for visiting captain Vincent Kompany completing the sending-off set in Catalunya at 16/1.
Kompany hasn’t exactly shaped like he’s been enjoying his football of late, and was dropped to the bench, where he stayed for the full 90 minutes, for the Premier League champions’ 2-0 win at home to Leicester recently.
A rumoured dressing room set-to with Citizens midfielder Fernandinho during Manuel Pellegrini’s men’s 2-1 loss at Liverpool was thought to be the main reason behind the skipper’s enforced rest, but the fact that his side had kept just one clean sheet in eight with Kompany in from the off will also have been a big factor.
He seems certain to start against Los Blaugrana though, as fellow centre-halves Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis are hardly pulling up trees defensively themselves, but the 28-year-old looks a decent bet to not last long against a side whom City can’t finish a game with 11 players.
Demichelis just couldn’t resist sticking a leg out to trip Argentina international teammate Lionel Messi at home last season, resulting in his removal from proceedings and Barca going 1-0 up from the penalty spot.
In the return leg, it was another Albiceleste star in City right-back Pablo Zabaleta who received his marching orders, rather pathetically, it must be said, for protesting against a refused penalty.
Three weeks ago at the Etihad Gael Clichy took his turn to saunter dejectedly down the tunnel after two bookings, meaning a Kompany red card in the Camp Nou is all that’s needed for a clean sweep of City’s regular back four in what will only be the fourth ever competitive game between the two clubs.
Kompany has picked up more bookings this term than any other Citizens defender, and has been cautioned in more matches so far in 2015.
He picked up a yellow in this fixture 12 months ago and is due a 2014/15 red card, having been sent off in each of his past four seasons in the blue half of Manchester bar this one.
The hosts are 2/5 to win the match, as they have each time they’ve faced Pellegrini and co, with the visitors at 11/4 to concede the first penalty.
New bwin punters could use their £30 free bet to back Man City to give away the opening spot-kick and claim £112.50 profit should they oblige for the third time in four fixtures against Barca.