Champions League betting: Back Dynamo Kiev to avoid defeat against injury-hit Man.City

Dynamo Kiev
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Dynamo Kiev +0.25 on the Asian Handicap @ 10/11 (1.91) with bet365

It all looked quite promising for Manchester City after they pipped Juventus to win Champions League Group D and were then given what looked to be a favourable draw against Dynamo Kiev.  Things look a little less positive today though.

On the plus side, Dynamo Kiev are approximately half-way through the three-month winter-break in the Ukrainian Premier Liha.  They have been playing regular friendlies against a very mixed bag of opponents since mid-January, but they certainly don’t have competitive match fitness ahead of such a big game.

They finished second in Group G behind Chelsea, with a 2-0 win away to Porto in their penultimate game putting them in the driving seat to qualify.  Their games were generally low-scoring affairs, with eight goals scored and just four conceded in their six matches.

One-time Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United striker Serhiy Rebrov is the Dynamo manager these days and winger Andriy Yarmolenko is the main danger, although he missed the winter friendly matches with an ankle injury.

The two teams met previously in the last 16 of the Europa League in 2011, with Dynamo running out 2-1 winners on aggregate.  It’s also worth remembering that last season Dynamo handed out a 5-2 thrashing to Everton in Kiev in the Europa League. They are also unbeaten at home in nine matches in European competition. This game was originally scheduled to be played behind closed doors in Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, but the ban on supporters was lifted by UEFA earlier in the month.

Since announcing that Pep Guardiola would be replacing Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City manager in the summer, they have lost three consecutive games, conceding 10 goals in the process.  Sunday’s 5-1 drubbing at Chelsea in the FA Cup can be passed off as the result of Pellegrini opting for youth in preparation for Kiev, but Premier League defeats at home to title rivals Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur are not so easy to explain away.

Injuries certainly haven’t helped City’s cause, with Kevin De Bruyne; Samir Nasri; Wilfried Bony; Fabian Delph; Jesus Navas; Bacary Sagna and Eliaquim Mangala all ruled out at Stamford Bridge. Mangala could be fit for Kiev, but it would seem unlikely that any of the others will feature.

This is an awkward trip for City and they will be happy to come away on level terms.  The Ukrainians might be a little rusty, but backing Dynamo Kiev +0.25 on the Asian Handicap looks very reasonable.  That bet means you win should Kiev win and in the event of a draw half you stake would win at the odds offered and the other half would be refunded.

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