Home has been where the hammerings are dished out for Manchester City this term and they can cement their passage to the Champions League knockout stages by overcoming a -2 goal handicap when CSKA Moscow come to the Etihad at odds of 13/10.
The prolific hosts are a miniscule 9/50 to follow up their win in the reverse fixture with a victory in Manchester, with the Russian double-winners 25/2 for three points and a stalemate backable at odds of 23/4.
Four of City’s six home wins this term have come by a margin of three goals or more.
Only the visit of Josep Guardiola’s superhuman Bayern Munich has halted an otherwise relentless run of victories in the Citizens’ seven home matches in 2013/14, with the 7-0 annihilation of Norwich last time out the latest example of their irresistibility.
All six of those successes saw them coast home by at least a two goal margin and when the opposition has included sides of the quality of Manchester United and the durability of Everton that’s no mean feat.
The Army Men have been beaten to nil in four of their last five away games.
Consecutive wins (one home, one away) will have restored some confidence but CSKA have still been shut out in five of their last seven games away from Arena Khimki.
Only City’s German conquerors have notched more than once at the Etihad this term and the hosts’ defensive strength should combine with a moderate attacking threat from Leonid Slutsky’s side to enhance the probability of a wide margin of victory.
CSKA must look to win in order to keep their hopes of second round qualification alive.
Both sides are still to play Bayern and Viktoria Plzen and both are likely to bank conservatively on a haul of three points from those two matches.
The Russians could draw level on points with the Citizens with a win here so they aren’t expected to ball-up hedgehog-fashion, which is sure to aid the cause of our (-2) wager.
Futhermore, knowing that a point in Plzen is sure to assure them of a Europa League spot they have little excuse for not having a go at a side which failed to win here in Champions League battle last term in the meantime and should leave ample space for City’s murderous counter attacking.