Manchester City are 8/1 underdogs to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit and qualify for the next round of the Champions League when they face Barcelona at Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana are a mere 3/50 to eliminate the Citizens and Luis Enrique has his side singing ahead of the tie, winning each of their four games since their trip to the north west by a margin of least two goals.
City, on the other hand, have been bested twice in three domestic outings since losing their third successive meeting with the Catalan club, most recently by lowly Burnley.
Yet, somehow, despite the sides’ wildly divergent form, there are reasons for sky blue thinking for those who seek them.
And not just, as Pablo Zabaleta and Ellie Goulding have recently reminded us, because ‘anything can happen’.
Barcelona’s last two home defeats came to nil
A goal for the Blaugrana would make an already stiff City task virtually impossible, so it is heartening that both Barca busts on home territory this season saw them shut out.
Both the hosts’ Camp Nou losses came amidst scintillating patches of form
The Catalans have won all bar one of their last 17 games across all competitions and they’ve taken apart two of their last three visitors by a margin of five goals.
However, the loss to Malaga that bisected those two romps came on the back of 11 straight wins on the ranch.
Meanwhile, back in November 2014, Barca had won their previous three games by an aggregate of 12-1 when going down to Celta Vigo.
Wilfried Bony has struck 15 times in 32 career continental appearances
The Citizens’ January marquee man has yet to find the net in 141 minutes of football for the club, but his love of continental goalscoring suggests a full 90 should be more than enough to see him find the net.
Bony is 5/2 to rustle the onion bag against Barcelona and 14/1 to do so as part of a win for the Sky Blues.
City have triumphed in four of their last seven Champions League away games.
Not only do Manuel Pellegrini’s side have an away win in them in this competition, but they are capable of netting the minimum two-goal haul necessary to ensure they progress in Spain.
They hit the back of the net twice or more in five of the aforementioned road games.
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They are 25/4 to win inside 90 minutes on the night, with Barcelona 2/5 for victory and the draw a 17/4 shot.