Forget about what happens in El Madrigal, the only thing Manchester City need to concentrate on tomorrow evening is beating Bayern Munich.
Of course, events in Villarreal are crucial to whether City make it through to the last 16 of the Champions League, with the Citizens needing a win against Bayern and the Spanish side to at least hold Napoli to a draw to ensure they stay in the competition.
Jupp Heynckes: To be successful you need to play in the Champions League for some time; you need to collect both positive and negative experiences.
But whatever it says in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, beating the German giants at the Etihad is going to be hard enough without worrying about what’s going on elsewhere.
Roberto Mancini’s men go into the match as 3/5 favourites, with the draw at 16/5 and a Bayern win at 15/4.
Based on league form, these odds are justified.
At home, City have been flawless, winning seven from seven, scoring 24 and conceding just four.
It hasn’t been much different away from home either, with draws at Anfield and Craven Cottage Man City’s only blemishes in seven games, with another 24 goals scored and nine conceded.
Meanwhile, Bayern might have returned to the summit of the Bundesliga at the weekend but they have wobbled of late, losing two of their last three domestic outings.
This suggests a home win is a safe option, although as Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes has pointed out domestic dominance is not a conclusive barometer for Champions League success.
“To be successful you need to play in the Champions League for some time; you need to collect both positive and negative experiences,” he commented.
As such, City’s 2-0 defeat to Bayern at the Allianz Arena on matchday two, when they were thoroughly outplayed, could prove a more accurate gauge as to what can be expected at the Etihad tomorrow.
This makes a bet on a Bayern win at 15/4 look particularly appealing, with a successful £25 free bet on this outcome set to return £118.75.
However, the smart bet could still be on a Man City win given Bayern’s injury problems.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is definitely out, as are Arjen Robben and Toni Kroos.
And with Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez doubtful, it could be a significantly weakened Bayern team which takes to the field at the Etihad.
Add in the fact that Bayern have nothing to play for having already wrapped up the group and City’s status as favourites suddenly looks justified.
For bigger returns, bet on the game being a draw at half time at odds of 27/20.
City have tended to keep things tight in the first half of their Champions League matches, holding teams to a draw at the break in three of their five Group C games.
This tactic is unlikely to be changed tomorrow, with Mancini prone to impress on his charges the importance of not giving away an early goal.
Meanwhile, although Bayern were, like City, ahead at the break when playing Villarreal at El Madrigal, they were on level terms at the interval when they played Napoli at Stadio San Paolo.
Significantly, City have also struggled to show their superiority in the first half of home matches in the Premier League, with a disproportionate number of goals being scored in the second half.
This paves the way for a bet on a draw/Man City win in the half time/full time market at 15/4, and also for City to score more goals in the second half than they do in the first.
City have scored 79 per cent of their league goals at the Etihad in the second half, making odds of 27/20 on this trend to continue tomorrow worth consideration.
And if the Citizens do manage to come out on top, only then should they start worrying about Villarreal.
Unfortunately, the chances are that a win over Bayern will prove too little, too late for Mancini’s men.
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