In what will be the first meeting between the two sides, Basel and Manchester City face off this week in Champions League action as with the second leg of this match set for March 7 at City of Manchester Stadium.
Most are familiar with Man City, but not so much with the Swiss side. This is the third time Basel have made the last 16 of the competition, having qualified for the group stage eight times since 1992. Basel currently sit second in the Swiss Super League.
Key Betting Trends
-This week’s match with Man City will be Basel’s 29th time meeting an English club in European competitions. They are 6-2-5 in such matchups.
-Basel — at home — has had some success historically against English clubs. Not only did they defeat Manchester United back in November, they also beat Chelsea and Liverpool back
in 2013 and 2014, respectively. They lost to Arsenal 1-4 in 2016.
Potential FC Basel Starting Lineup: Vaclik; Lang, Suchy, Balanta, Petretta; Stocker, Serey Die, Xhaka, Elyounoussi; Oberlin; Van Wolfswinkel
Potential Manchester City Starting Lineup: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Danilo; Fernandihno; Gundogen, De Bruyne, B Silva, Sterling; Aguero
What to Watch For
Basel on a Roll: Basel have won eight games in a row before the Swiss Super League took its winter break, followed up by a 1-0 home loss to Lugano. They defeated Thun 2-0 in last week’s league competition, ready to take that momentum into Champions League. For them, the defense dictates the pace. Captain Marek Suchy leads a defense that has given up just 17 goals in 21 leagues games this season.
The projected score after 10,000 simulations is 1-2, with Basel upsetting City in only the sims in which it out-shoots the opponent. In simulated wins, Basel averages 9 shots overall and close to 4 on goal; in losses, they average just 2.1 goals and 0.6 shots on goal. Fairly logical take here — do you expect Basel to have just 1 shot on goal vs 3-to-4? How you wager depends largely on how you respond to that question.
Ageuro’s Action: Speaking of Suchy, the marquee matchup in this game will be Sergio Aguero attacking against defender Marek Suchy who will be ready to stop the man who scored 4 beautiful goals last weekend against Leicester City.
Aguero is projected to have about four shots overall, but just 1 on goal; he does have over a 47 percent chance of scoring, just a tick above Raheem Sterling.
Dimitri Oberlin has the highest probability of finding the back of the net for Basel at 24.5 percent. He averages close to two shots overall, but just 0.66 shots per goal in sims.
Expect this to be much tougher of an out for Josep Guardiola’s side than most would suggest. Let’s not forget Basel defeated Manchester United 1-0 back in November, and those same fans will be ready to create a nightmarish atmosphere for the opponent. Accuscore probability or the draw is just over 20%, that makes it a value bet with current odds.