Two For Tuesday
Although there are just two Champions League encounters to deal with this evening, here’s our preview of those European heavyweight clashes.
A Sporting Occasion
From one important fixture to another. That has been Sporting’s schedule as of late and with the side from Portugal’s capital only managing a 2-2 draw against Porto last Friday, it means that Sergio Conceicao’s men are still six points clear at the top of Liga NOS.
However, the quest for domestic honours will be placed on the backburner this evening, as the green and white of Lisbon prepare to welcome the light blue half of Manchester and in doing so, it means Champions League progress is up for grabs.
Of course, they cannot be a winner from the tie this evening, but events in tonight’s first leg will frame what could well happen at the Etihad in the second and therefore, Sporting boss Ruben Amorim will have one main objective in mind.
That being to simply keep the tie alive and with away goals no longer being a factor within UEFA competition, it has perhaps changed the way that both hosts and visitors will approach such a two-legged affair.
By the same token, Pep Guardiola would love nothing more than to earn a substantial first-leg advantage this evening and in doing so, it would allow some of his supporting cast to earn minutes in the reverse.
With that said, any advantage to take back to the Etihad will be just as welcomed and with City being priced at 5/4 to both win and keep a clean sheet at the José Alvalade Stadium, these odds are too tempting to ignore.
From Paris With Love
When it comes to the love affair of Kylian Mbappe, there are two main suitors within this unfolding story and with both PSG and Real Madrid making overtures for this signature, it will be interesting to see just which contract collects his scrawl.
Because although Mbappe is once again lighting up Ligue 1, there is a feeling that his work within the confines of the French top tier is now done and that is why he is yet to agree a new deal with current employers.
While that hesitancy is the same reason that Real Madrid are now in the frame to capture him on a free transfer this summer and it is this sub-plot which has turned tonight’s Champions League tie into something a lot more intriguing.
Because not only is there a tug of war for Mbappe’s services, but there is also the clash of two managerial heavyweights and although both clubs are top of their respective domestic leagues, there is not the same level of comfort afforded to the men in charge.February 14, 2022
With Carlo Ancelotti now in his second stint at the Santiago Bernabeu, his return has been a rather welcomed one and the legendary Italian looks set to lead his charges to the summit of LaLiga at the end of the season.
While even though Mauricio Pochettino’s men are running away with the Ligue 1 crown this season, you get the sense that is Europe or bust for the former Tottenham boss and that is why continual progress in the Champions League is more important for the Argentine.
Which brings us nicely to this evening’s first-leg tie between the two and after taking a deep dive into the many markets on offer, PSG to win at odds of 10/11 may be the perfect balance between Tuesday night risk and reward.