Manchester City v Hoffenheim
Wednesday, 20:00
Live on BT Sport 2

City have first place in their grasp

Given the trouble they had against Lyon, both home and away, Manchester City should be content that their place in the knockout stages has already been assured ahead of their final group game. Not because Hoffenheim look especially likely to turn them over, but because it will allow Pep Guardiola to rotate after three Premier League games in quick succession. Such opportunities have to be seized.
Gabriel Jesus can expect to start, with Sergio Agüero unlikely to be risked even if he is fit. Squad players like İlkay Gündoğan, Nicolás Otamendi and Danilo could also be in the frame. And who knows, Phil Foden might even get his first non-League-Cup start of the campaign.
But all will be aware that this is no night off; City do still need at least a point to guarantee top spot. Whether that makes much difference when it comes to the last-16 draw remains to be seen, but it should at the very least ensure they avoid Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus. That's never a bad thing.

Hoff with their heads

After two games in the group, Hoffenheim would have been forgiven for feeling pretty good about their chances of progress. They claimed what looked like a creditable point away to Shakhtar, then gave City a decent game at the Etihad. But two madcap draws with Lyon left them with a mountain to climb, and after the home defeat to Shakhtar, it's now Europa League or bust. Probably bust, barring a miracle.
That is a shame for the neutrals, for Julian Nagelsmann's team are true entertainers. 10 goals for and 12 against in five games is box-office stuff, and that's before you even get to their ability to throw away leads and fight back from the dead. If this is their last Champions League campaign for a while, they have at least left us with some good memories.

Hosts could cruise to win

City have lost three of their last four Champions League games at home, but should not have too much trouble on Wednesday night. They will be champing at the bit after the defeat to Chelsea and it's little surprise that they are 1.22 favourites.
In fact, if they find their rhythm as they did at home to Shakhtar (6-0), this could easily turn into a handsome win against a fragile defence. The Asian handicap is worth consideration, with City -2.0 currently at 1.79.

All thriller, no filler

Hoffenheim's Champions League matches have produced 4.4 goals each on average. It's 3.64 in the Bundesliga, and with City hardly slouches themselves when it comes to goalmouth action (3.375 in the league, 3.8 in Europe), there's every chance that this could be a blowout.
Over 3.5 looks like a good pick at 1.81, with over 4.5 the more risky pick at 2.84. But with a City win expected, we can get some decent value combining two picks using the Same Game Multi tool on the Sportsbook. Back City and over 3.5 goals at 2.06.

Kram raider

If you want a slightly leftfield selection and are willing to back Hoffenheim to score, Andrej Kramarić could be a great pick on the goalscorer market. The Croatian is in red-hot form - he's scored in his last eight for club and country - and is 4.40 to find the target.
RECOMMENDED BETS
Back Man City and over 3.5 goals at 2.06

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