BTTS Banker Between City & RomaStats
Manchester City v Roma
Manchester City host Roma in what already looks to be a crucial clash for both in their attempts to reach the knockout phase.
Having failed to win for the month of September before last Wednesday, City have now won two on the trot and scored 11 goals after crushing Sheffield Wednesday 7-0 in the Capital One Cup and following it up with a 4-2 win at Hull on Saturday.
A brace from Edin Dzeko, Frank Lampard’s fourth goal in a week and another from Sergio Aguero earned the three points against the Tigers and moved City to third in the Premier League table, five points behind early pacesetters Chelsea while all three of Saturday’s goalscorers are now on four goals for the season. Manuel Pellegrini’s side lost in Germany against Bayern Munich in their opening Champions League game when a last minute goal from former City defender Jerome Boateng gave Bayern a deserved win.
Roma retained their perfect start to the season on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Verona at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, with late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Mattia Destro clinching a hard-fought win.
Despite taking 15 points from their first five Serie A games, Roma lie second in the table behind champions Juventus on goal difference. Rudi Garcia’s side crushed CSKA Moscow 5-1 in their opening Champions League game, with former Arsenal attacker Gervinho scoring twice in the rout. The Ivorian has three goals this season, with two apiece for Destro and Florenzi.
There are major doubts over Samir Nasri and Fernando for Manchester City, with both midfielders likely to miss out as is forward Stevan Jovetic, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
David Silva and Aguero were both taken off in the latter stages of Saturday’s win but it was seen as a precautionary measure from Pellegrini and both should feature from the start. The Chilean boss must also decide between Joe Hart and Willy Caballero in goal, as the England stopper was dropped for the game with Hull.
Roma are without Kevin Strootman in midfield as the Dutchman continues his recovery from a serious knee injury. Danielle de Rossi is also expected to miss out as is defender Davide Astori. Juan Manuel Iturbe and Leandro Castan are also doubtful but their will be plenty of familiar faces to Premier League fans with Gervinho, Ashley Cole, Maicon and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa all set to line out for the Giallorossi.
Head to Head
These sides have never met in a competitive match, but Roma have unhappy memories of Manchester having lost on each of their visits to face Manchester United in the Champions League, resulting in their exit from the competition in both 2007 and 2008, including a 7-1 hammering at Old Trafford in 2007. Roma have won just once in 14 games in England over the years.
In a game they really have to win, City are big favourites at 8/13, with Roma a meaty 4/1 to continue their 100 percent start to the season, although they’ve yet to face anything like the dazzling attack the hosts will boast.
Roma will be confident though so the 3/4 on both teams to score looks assured while 23/10 on both teams to score in a City win looks worthwhile too. Aguero looks back to his brilliant best now too, so 4/1 on a first goal and 21/20 on any goal is worth snapping up.