Having never strayed so far in the competition prior to this season, Manchester City meet Paris Saint-Germain in their maiden Champions League quarter final.
Myriad variables – their rookie status, the location of the fixture and the strength of PSG, to name but a few – have contrived to make Les Parisiens favourites, with the Citizens way out as 4/1 underdogs.
Laurent Blanc’s men can be backed as short as 7/10 next to a 14/5-rated draw, but despite being widely written off by the odds gurus, the friendless visitors have little to fear.
Never before have PSG advanced beyond this stage of the competition, despite reaching it in three successive seasons.
Last time around, it was an unconvincing Parc des Princes performance that led to their demise, when a 3-1 scoreline was surrendered to Barcelona to set up a 5-1 aggregate defeat.
Away goals were their silver bullet in the two previous campaigns, with Chelsea and Barcelona again able to record results favourable enough in Paris to ensure they’d prevail on their own patch.
Reims, Nice and Chelsea are the only opponents they’ve overcome across six all-competitions home fixtures, with Lille, Montpellier and Monaco were all able to record clean sheets in the French capital.
In terms of playing prowess, none of these sides can be compared to City, who are threatening to light the late-season touch paper that brought them six successive victories to sign off on 2014/15.
Their scintillating streak of last spring was sparked by a defeat to arch rivals Manchester United and, after losing to the same foe prior to the international break, Manuel Pellegrini’s troops demolished Bournemouth 4-0 last weekend.
This convincing win against one of the Premier League’s form teams came without being able to call upon tonight’s absentees Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart and, having scored at least two in all bar one Champions League away game so far, they must be backed to at least be level ahead of the second leg.
It’s a 23/20 payday for those who back a City win or draw in the double chance stakes.