FC Basel vs. Manchester City / Champions League – Objectively, Basel is the weakest team of all that reached the round of 16 of Champions League, while Manchester City plays excellently this season. With that said it is clear that we have a strong favourite to win this match. Basel doesn’t even dominate in the Swiss championship and is second at the moment, while Manchester City is alone at the top of English Premier League. This team had full dominance in the group phase when it won all five matches. Basel won four and that was enough for the 2nd place. Interestingly, the two teams have never met before. Begins: 13.02.2018 – 20:45 CET
This isn’t the first time that Basel makes a surprise in the Champions League and reaches the knockout phase of the competition. Basel did it before, however, now it didn’t have much lucky with the draw and it needs a miracle to reach the quarter-finals. What is different for Basel is fact that this season it doesn’t dominate in the Swiss championship as it is usual. Right now it occupies the second place and has five points fewer than Young Boys, meaning that after eight consecutive titles this time they can easily not win it.
Basel spent a lot of energy playing in the Champions League and that left a mark, mostly in the beginning of season when Basel had four-game winless streak in the Swiss championship, which hadn’t happened for a long time. Two rounds ago it sensationally lost to Lugano at home, while last weekend they won Thun 2-0 away. This winter stopper Akanjij and midfielders Steffen left the team, but they brought Lacroix, F. Frei and Stocker.
Probable lineups FC Basel: Vaclik – Lang, Suchy, Balanta, Petretta – T. Xhaka, Serey Die – Stocker, Elyounoussi, Bua – Oberlin
It can be said that the season is almost perfect for Manchester City as this team lost just two matches, out of which one had no meaning at all as after five rounds and secured first place in the group phase of Champions League they lost to Shakhtar in the last round. In the English Premier League they lost away to Liverpool and drew three other matches, and right now they are alone at the top of table having 16 points more than the second-placed team. The City is finalist of the League Cup and still competes in the FA Cup too.
It is fact that several recent matches Manchester City didn’t play at top level in which definitely belongs drew with Burnley from two rounds ago, although last weekend it outclassed Leicester 5-1. Stopper Laporte played in it, who is the last big acquisition of already very strong defence. Kompany stayed on the bench, while Zinchenko played instead of Danilo. Now, the said two players might join the starting line-up, while injured Mendy, Jesus and Delph are out of action.
Probable lineups Manchester City: Ederson – Walker, Stones, Kompany, Danilo – Fernandinho, de Bruyne, D. Silva – B. Silva, Aguero, Sterling
FC Basel – Manchester City PICK
Although Manchester City will play the 2nd leg at home we expect to show in the first match who is better team here and perhaps win by sound difference for peaceful second match.
Pick: Asian handicap -1.5 Manchester City
Odds: 2.01 at bet365 (down to 1.90 can be played)