Free-scoring City to scrape past the Giallorossi.
You wonder how Manuel Pellegrini can leave Frank Lampard out of his Champions League team to face Roma at the Emirates this week after the former England midfielder, released by Chelsea in the summer, scored for the fourth time in three appearances for the Sky Blues against Hull City at the weekend.
Lampard is not so much knocking on the manager’s door for a starting place as kicking it down but the same cannot be said of another summer signing, Eliaquim Mangala. The French defender gifted the Tigers two first-half goals on Saturday and looked jittery throughout.
Willy Cabellero again filled in for Joe Hart in goal for City at the KC but the England keeper will be back in action against Roma, according to his manager.
Pellegrini’s team were unfortunate not to take a point from Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in their opening Group E match but it was very much an opportunity lost as the Germans had been badly hit by injuries beforehand. Roma, on the other hand, could not have started their Champions League campaign any better.
They put five past CSKA Moscow and arrive at the Etihad in red-hot form having won their last five matches in Serie A.
Lampard could find himself up against former club and international team-mate Ashley Cole while ex-Arsenal forward Gervinho has been among the goals for the Giallorossi. Veteran Francesco Totti is still a key man for the Italians, who have Brazil’s Maicon and Greece international Vasilis Torosidis among their defence.
A positive result for Roma would give City a mountain to climb to qualify for the knockout stages but history is on City’s side as their opponents have only won once in 14 previous visits to England and lost 7-1 at Old Trafford the last time they played in Manchester.
Pellegrini’s men are no certainties to win at 8/13 but Lampard, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero are scoring plenty of goals and their side may just have enough to edge the final verdict. City to win by one goal are 27/10 while it should be worth backing both teams to score at 8/13.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, September 30th at the Etihad.
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