City to overpower Kane-less Spurs

Four more teams will bid for a place in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday, with Manchester City, Tottenham, Porto and Liverpool fighting it out to make the last four.


The main focus will be on the all-English affair at the Etihad Stadium, when Manchester City look to overturn a one-goal deficit suffered in last week’s first leg at Tottenham (Match Odds – Man City 1.31, Draw 5.70, Tottenham 10.50).


Spurs raised their game last Tuesday to pull off a surprise and take a slender lead to Manchester, despite suffering a major injury blow in the second half.


England skipper Harry Kane limped out of the first leg with a serious ankle injury and will play no part in the second leg, leaving Mauricio Pochettino very short of options up front. Son Heung-min replaced Kane at the Tottenham Stadium and seems certain to start in the return leg.


Spurs go into the match in good form – with three straight wins, during which time they have not conceded a goal and their defence will need to be at their very best if they are to thwart a City comeback.


The hosts have been imperious in recent months, with Pep Guardiola’s men (1.64 to qualify) having won 15 of their last 16 in all comps – the only defeat coming in the first leg.


Pep experience to aid Blues turnaround


A lot will be said about the technical battle between the two managers, a tussle which many thought Pochettino won in the first match.


But the experience of Pep Guardiola at this stage of Europe’s top-club competition will surely be significant, with the 48-year-old having won the trophy as a player and lifted it twice as a manager.


The strength in depth of his squad also gives City (2.30 to win to nil) a massive advantage, with Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and either Vincent Kompany or John Stones expected to return to the starting XI.


The former Barcelona boss has collected a win and a draw in two previous home meetings with Spurs as City manager, but only a victory will be good enough on Wednesday.


The first leg was the third time Pochettino had enjoyed success over Guardiola, with one previous win as Spurs boss in 2016 and he also beat Guardiola’s Barcelona in his first match as Espanyol manager.


Aguero to fire City to last four


Bearing in mind his amazing goalscoring record, it is eight competitive matches without a goal against Tottenham for Sergio Aguero.


The last time he found the back of the net against Spurs was the winning goal at White Hart Lane in May 2015. Earlier that season, the Argentinian star scored all four in a 4-1 success at the Etihad.


Aguero’s last goal came in the 2-0 win at Fulham at the end of March, so he is due a goal and as so often the man for the big occasion, is 3.75 to break the deadlock.


If Spurs are to snatch a goal on the break, it is worth considering Lucas Moura at 4.60 as an Anytime Goalscorer . The Brazilian who has put himself in the frame to start following his hat-trick in Saturday’s win over Huddersfield.


Tottenham’s away form though will be a major concern for those eyeing a bet on the visitors, with Pochettino’s men having lost five of their last six on the road in all competitions. Their only victory in that time came in Europe, when they won 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund.


Reds to see off Porto threat


At 2-0 up at HT of the first leg at Anfield, Liverpool looked like they could kill the quarter-final off before they even stepped off the plane in Portugal. Porto though dug in and gave themselves a chance of turning things around (Match Odds – Porto 3.70, Draw 3.45, Liverpool 2.10)


The Portuguese giants overturned a 2-1 deficit in the last round, beating Roma 3-1 at home after extra-time, and they will feel another vociferous atmosphere at the Estadio do Dragao may help them spring another surprise.


Liverpool, who are 2.70 to keep a clean sheet, though look to be at another level to Roma and this will be a much tougher task for Sergio Conceicao and his team – who won 3-0 away to Portimonense at the weekend.


The Reds have had a day less to prepare but they head into the game after a crucial 2-0 success over Chelsea on Sunday, with Jurgen Klopp likely to make some changes to his starting line-up.


Liverpool’s backline have been particularly stingy this term, conceding just 20 goals in 34 Premier League games, but in Europe it’s been a different story. Klopp’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven Champions League away games, with their last coming in a 5-0 win at Porto last season.


Firmino can hit hosts on the break


Klopp will be aware that an away goal should end the tie as a contest, so expect the highly-praised front three, Salah, Firmino and Mane, to start.


With the title-race still on a knife edge, the manager will hope he will be able to rest some of his big stars in the second half at the Dragao.


Although three forwards have got three goals to their name already in this year’s competition, but it’s Roberto Firmino who could be the beneficiary on Wednesday. The Brazilian is 7.00 as the First Goalscorer after scoring in the first leg and with Porto worried by the pace of Mane and Salah, Firmino could be primed to take advantage.


Porto main goal threat comes from Moussa Marega, who was the hosts’ top scorer last season with 24 goals. The Mali international is 2.85 as an Anytime Goalscorer and has six goals in eight matches in this season’s Champions League, but missed a couple of gilt-edged chances in the first leg.