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Champions League: Steve Freeth previews Manchester City v PSG

Mauricio Pochettino will no doubt say all the right things when he’s in Manchester this midweek but it’s no surprise to see him linked with the vacancy at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal following three years in charge has seen Michael Carrick step in until an interim manager is appointed – with a view to making a permanent appointment at the end of the season.

Pochettino is among the leading candidates, however his immediate focus will be on getting something from the trip to the Etihad as Manchester City host PSG in a blockbusting battle in Group A.

Another Argentine will also be in town; a player that Pep Guardiola knows well and who could have been in a lighter blue shirt if things had worked out differently.

The early narrative used to be that Lionel Messi struggles against English sides.

It took him 10 games to break his duck, but his class has shown through since. He scored his first PSG goal against the Citizens back in September, taking his tally against City to seven, as well as his seventh against Pep and he’s 6/1 to be First Goalscorer and 8/5 to score Anytime in this one. 

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This loss of Kevin De Bruyne is a big one, but who needs KDB when you have Joao Cancelo in your side?!

His sensational assist against Everton at the weekend took him to seven for the season, and while he could have his hands full with Messi on Wednesday, the flying full-back is 10/3 for another assist in this one.

I’m sure you recall his hat-trick of assists in the last European game against Club Brugge, but if you fancy a more direct involvement from the Portuguese, he’s 11/1 for his third goal of this season’s Champions League campaign.

The hosts require just a point to confirm their place in the last 16 for a ninth successive season, but a maximum haul would seal top spot and give Guardiola the chance to rest and rotate as we head into an extremely busy period.

But is 3/5 too short against the class of opposition who are touching 4/1 to leapfrog City at the head of affairs?

By Steve Freeth

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