Anything but a Manchester City win in Moscow is unthinkable from a Citizens perspective as Manuel Pellegrini’s men attempt to play their way back into the Champions League Group E qualification picture.
An opening match defeat at Bayern Munchen followed by a disappointing draw with Roma has left last season’s Premier League winners languishing third in their pre-knockout pool, but this sluggish start has not prevented them assuming favouritism for their trip to CSKA.
A price of 31/50 says the visitors do the business, while the Armeisty assume 9/2 underdog status and the draw is on offer at 27/10.
The chasm in quality between the opposing outfits, however, makes backing Man City the only way to bet here, with the 33/20 that says they overcome a one-goal handicap to claim the spoils looking especially good value.
CSKA avoided a pummelling in their previous Champions League outing against Bayern, losing 1-0 in front of an empty Arena Khimki.
But Roma’s 5-1 destruction of Leonid Slutsky’s side on matchday one is testament to the belief that they’re below the required standard to survive at this level and last season’s exploits in this competition only serve to further this preconception.
Of their six group-stage games they were bested on five occasions.
Three of these losses would’ve occurred even if their foes began the game one goal in arrears.
The Khimki hasn’t brought CSKA much in the wake of respite either, with their Die Roten reverse last time meaning they’ve now failed to win five of their last six European games on the homestead.
They’ve also endured defeat in three of their five at base camp against English opposition.
One of these games was against Man City at this stage of the competition last term.
The Russian capital club went down 2-1 before being battered 5-2 at the Etihad.
All signs point to smooth sailing for the Citizens so the handicap punt is very much worth the risk.