This final game in Group G of the Champions League is the deadest of dead rubbers. Nothing is left to be decided in the group, with Manchester City and Dortmund advancing to the last-16 first and second, whilst Sevilla are confirmed to be advancing to the next round after beating FC Copenhagen last time out.
City will be hoping to get through this game with no injuries and in good shape for their weekend tie at home to Fulham, whilst Sevilla have an enormous game this weekend, the Seville derby against Real Betis.
Both teams will likely heavily rotate their sides, Guardiola especially has hinted as much, stating that the Blues are aware of the ‘danger’, with last season’s red card for Kyle Walker in the final round of group games against RB Leipzig, and subsequent suspension for both last-16 games and the first leg of the quarter-finals fresh in the memory.
Perhaps the injection of some of the bench players and young talent will bring a spark to this game, but history shows us that heavily rotated City sides tend to struggle. Sevilla’s squad is less deep, so there should be more starters on the pitch, which should all lead to a pretty tame affair as the two sides neutralise each other and take few unnecessary risks.
Manchester City v Sevilla Bet Builder Tips
Under 3.5 Goals
With nothing to play for and important games at the weekend, I can’t help but feel this will be another quiet affair. City have now drawn two consecutive Champions League games 0-0, though the first was largely coloured by Sergio Gomez’s first half red card away at Copenhagen, and their opponents did have something to play for.
Sevilla will play some starters and some reserves, but everyone will have one eye on the weekend’s game, and for some, the World Cup, so they will likely be holding back somewhat. City are in the same boat, and with most of the squad also preparing for the World Cup, so to pick up an injury, even a minor knock in a dead rubber is the last thing anyone wants.
The only way I can imagine this doesn’t come in is if some early goals fly in thanks to some unfamiliar defensive line-ups, but with a similarly unused attacking line-up likely to be present in both starting line-ups, I am sceptical that either side will be able to take advantage.
City have made good use of youngsters in all competitions this season, with the likes of Cole Palmer, Rico Lewis and Josh Wilson-Esbrand all seeing a few minutes here and there where games are won, and I would expect to see at least two of the three starting or playing a significant role here. The Blues tend to do this a lot in dead rubber Champions League ties under Guardiola, and while it provides great experience for the squad’s fringe players, it rarely leads to the assured performances we are used to seeing in the games that matter.
Sevilla (+2 Handicap)
As I am expecting a low-scoring game, there is excellent value to be found in Sevilla handicap bets. If City do not win by two or more goals, this will land, and considering their last two Champions League games (both 0-0), coupled with the improvement Jorge Sampaoli has masterminded since taking over from Julen Lopetegui could well mean the Andalusian side can claim a famous result.
There is also good value to be found in Sevilla Double Chance bets which are as high as 4.0, but with Sevilla having such a tough game at the weekend and also being likely to rotate their side, I personally would stick to handicap bets for some added security.
City’s record in dead rubbers such as this in previous seasons suggests this has a great chance of landing. Last season they fell 2-1 to RB Leipzig in the final matchweek of the group stages, they drew 0-0 with Porto the year before after they had qualified, drew 1-1 with Shakhtar Donetsk the year before, again having qualified already.
In every campaign since 2019/20, Guardiola’s side have noticeably taken their foot off the pedal once they are through, and I imagine it will occur again this week. Going back even further, throughout the Spaniard’s entire City tenure, they have drawn or lost a game to a much weaker side in the final matches of the group stages, every season from 2016-17 all the way through to last year.
Sergio Gomez to have 2+ Shots
We haven’t yet seen a huge amount of Sergio Gomez in a Man City shirt yet, but when he has played his attacking quality is not in question. He assisted Haaland in the derby and has been averaging 1.74 shots per 90 in the Champions League this season. He very nearly opened his City account against Copenhagen, with a deflected shot going down as an own goal before a last-minute volley was tipped over by the goalkeeper.
The young Spaniard provided 15 assists and 7 goals for Anderlecht last season, and when playing at full back for City he slots into the now-familiar inside-left position that City’s left-back has been occupying since 2017-18. He will see plenty of the ball in midfield, and lots of possession on the left-hand edge of the area.
If City are struggling to build, as is usually the case with a heavily rotated side no matter the quality of those players, he will be in prime position to take some shots during this game and looks a great price for 2 or more considering his record so far for City and his previous efforts in Belgium.
Under 2.5 Cards
Again, with this being a dead rubber tie, it seems obvious that players will be not giving it their all, and City especially will be cautious after Walker’s red card and suspension last season. City’s game against Leicester last week was a quiet, cagey affair and saw no cards for either side.
City have been averaging less than a card per game this season, although this number is slightly higher in the Champions League. Sevilla meanwhile have averaged slightly over 2 cards per game, but with Europa League games to come, anyone who already picked up any bookings will be looking to avoid picking up anymore in case of suspensions further down the line.
Sevilla have four players one card away from suspension, with no resets until the quarter-finals, so they will be walking a fine line, whilst four more players will move to within one card of a suspension.
Sevilla are 18th in the Champions League for yellow cards this season, whilst Man City are 36th, so neither side is especially likely to pick up cards, and those statistics are from games which mattered, whereas this tie really does not.
Orel Grinfeld is the referee, and he has averaged 3.5 cards per game in the Champions League group stage, but his two games have been important, competitive ties which have really been crucial. He is way below the Champions League average of 4.9 cards per match, so this should not be a reason to avoid the under 2.5 line. It looks great value, and though I prefer to avoid ‘under’ bets where possible, in a game like this it is hard to find value anywhere else.
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How to watch Manchester City v Sevilla in the Champions League?
📅 When is Manchester City v Sevilla? / Wednesday, 2nd November 2022, 8:00PM
🏟 Where is Manchester City v Sevilla? / Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
📺 What TV channel is Manchester City v Sevilla on? / BT Sport 3
🟨 …And who is the referee for Manchester City v Sevilla? / O.Grinfeeld 🇮🇱