With a 3-1 lead from the 1st leg in the Ukraine, Manchester City shouldn’t have many problems in reaching the last eight of the Champions League for the first time. Yaya Toure’s late goal in Kiev gave City what looks to be an unassailable advantage from what might still have been a potentially awkward return match until that point.
Manchester City have lost five times at the Etihad Stadium this season (on four occasions in the Premier League and once to Juventus in the Champions League group stage), so there is a chance for Dynamo in terms of winning the match itself. However, City’s three away goals have realistically put the tie beyond them.
There is also nothing in Dynamo’s record on English soil in European competition to suggest that they are capable of overturning City’s advantage, with them drawing two and losing 11 of their previous 13 games away to English opposition.
With City all but assured of a place in the quarter-finals, much will depend on the mentality of the two teams going into this game. Manuel Pellegrini will surely be tempted to rotate his squad to some degree here, with bigger challenges ahead both in Europe and domestically. It would be no great surprise were the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero to start on the bench.
Likewise, Dynamo coach Serhiy Rebrov might decide that the tie is gone and that he would be better advised to concentrate on the domestic title race with Shakhtar Donetsk now that they have returned from the winter break in the Ukrainian Primera Liha. Key player Andriy Yarmolenko is struggling with a thigh injury, so there has to be the possibility that Rebrov decides he’s not worth risking here.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that the 1st leg was Dynamo’s first competitive game since their final Champions League group game back in early December. It would also be wrong to consider them weak opposition, as their record of conceding just four goals in six group games against Chelsea, Porto and Maccabi Tel Aviv shows.
Manchester City don’t need to take any chances, so taking Dynamo on the Asian Handicap at +1.25 looks a decent option here. Even were City to win by a one-goal margin, you would still get half your stake backed at the winning price and the other half refunded.