Preview - Basel vs. Man City Feb 14 2018

Started by MutembeiTS, Feb 13, 2018, 02:40 AM

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Feb 13, 2018, 02:40 AM Last Edit: Feb 14, 2018, 07:22 AM by MutembeiTS
Match Day 7
Basel vs. Man City
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
03:45 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: St. Jakob-Park

Last five matches form: L W W L W
Average goals per match: 1.8
Average goals against per match: 0.8
Top Scorer: Dimitri Oberlin (4)

Man City:
Last five matches form: W W W D W
Average goals per match: 2.9
Average goals against per match: 0.7
Top Scorer: Raheem Sterling (4)

That Manchester City have been handed a favorable draw in this year's Champions League Last 16 is a view shared by experienced pundits and layman fans alike. It is one of the great perks of winning your group - you get to avoid facing off against other group toppers. The other perk, of course, is the prestige.

But the esteem held by The Citizens is not just tied to winning Group F. They have been simply superb in 2017/18. Pep Guardiola's men have taken both the Premier League and Europe by storm, and remain in contention for what would be a very glorious quadruple indeed. One would have to be really brave to bet against them winning at least a double, leave alone their away trip to Basel on Wednesday.

Normally it would be crazy to consider a game between two teams who have never faced each other a foregone conclusion but City are just that good. While they lead the EPL by a whopping 16 points, Basel are struggling to keep up with Young Boys, whom they trail by six points in the Super League.

That said, as evidenced by their surprise 1-0 win over Manchester United earlier this season, Basel won't go down without a fight. Combo-hunting punters should look to a Man City win coupled with inability to keep a clean sheet, something that won't bother Pep one bit. 

Prediction: Basel 1-3 Man City


Half time: 0 - 3
Full time: 0 - 4
Shots: 10 - 12
Shots on target: 3 - 7
Corner Kicks:  3 - 6
Possession: 26% - 74%

Pep Guardiola's Man City were as dominant as predicted in this one, and they showed just why everyone in Europe should be afraid of them at the moment. Within the first 30 minutes of the game, the relentless Citizens were already three goals up, with Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero all on the scoresheet.

Gundogan, who could easily have had four, got his second of the game (and City's fourth) in the second half with a superb, long-range effort. It was heartwarming to see the German showcase his understated quality after an injury-plagued last few months, and Pep was understandably delighted.

"Ilkay Gundogan is an extraordinary player. Last season we missed him a lot with injury for six months and that's why we are so satisfied, not just the quality but personality to play," the City boss beamed after the game.

What also shouldn't go unsaid is that Basel had plenty of chances to score during the game. Despite having had less than 30% percent possession, the defending Swiss champs were crisp and menacing on the counter.

Leading striker Dimitri Oberlin was particularly profligate, having wasted an early one-on-one, missed a point-blank header and seen a free-kick saved by City's Ederson. Teammates Valentin Stocker and Mohamed Elyounoussi were not any better.

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