Manchester City kicks off its 2021-22 UEFA Champions League campaign with RB Leipzig following the disappointment of losing in last season’s final. City has never won the Champions League title and it’s the last frontier in its impressive trophy cabinet.
RB Leipzig’s meteoric rise to the upper echelon of German soccer has been well documented but its start to the season has been disappointing. It doesn’t get any easier from here on out as Manchester City is the heavy soccer betting favorite at -325.
Game: Manchester City vs RB Leipzig
Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Date/Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET
Head to Head
This will be the first-ever meeting between these two clubs.
City Among Favorites in Champions League
PSG has the best odds to win Europe’s most prestigious club competition at +330, while Manchester City isn’t far behind at +350. Both favorites were drawn in Group A.
Manchester City will be expected to get out of Group A with flying colors but it won’t be easy. Along with RB Leipzig and PSG, the defending Premier League Champions drew Club Brugge. Last season, Manchester City was undefeated in the Group Stage, picking up five wins and a draw.
City was the favorite to win the Champions League following last years’ group stage and reached the final but was shut out 1-0 by Chelsea. Kai Havertz’s goal was the difference in the match.
After signing England international attacking midfielder Jack Grealish for a British record fee, City has taken nine points from four matches in the Premier League. Grealish has managed to score a goal and provide an assist already.
Since a surprise 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham, City has kept three consecutive clean sheets. Manchester City picked up consecutive 5-0 wins vs Arsenal and Norwich City and beat Leicester 1-0 last weekend.
City is once again one of the most popular Premier League soccer picks and has an incredibly talented roster and accomplished coach in Pep Guardiola. Legendary striker Sergio Agüero departed the club over the summer after a decade in Manchester. The blow of losing him stings a bit less knowing that City has attacking talent like Grealish, Phil Foden, Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling.
RB Leipzig’s Exodus
RB Leipzig matched its best Bundesliga finish in its short history in 2020-21 by finishing second to Bayern Munich. Then, Leipzig lost its captain, Marcel Sabitzer, and coach, Julian Nagelsmann, to the Bavarian club. To add insult to injury, Bayern beat Leipzig 4-1 over the weekend. Life under American manager Jesse Marsch has gotten off to a challenging start.
RB Leipzig has been a team to avoid when betting online. Leipzig has taken just three points from four games and has been defeated by Wolfsburg and Mainz along with Bayern. Apart from a four-goal outburst in a win vs Stuttgart, Leipzig has struggled to score.
Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai finally made his Bundesliga debut following a long-term injury and scored a double vs Stuttgart. Portuguese forward Andre Silva was brought in from Eintracht Frankfurt following a 28-goal season. There is undoubtedly loads of talent at Leipzig but it’ll take time to jell.
Leipzig was a mess on defense against Bayern and it’ll certainly struggle to keep City out of the back of the net in Manchester. City has scored five goals in both of its home matches and while I’m not expecting five, I am expecting City to score a few.
Marsch did well with other Red Bull-affiliated clubs (Red Bull New York, RB Salzburg) but his Salzburg team conceded 17 goals in six matches in last year’s Champions League. An in-form Manchester City team should comfortably defeat Leipzig and I expect City to cover the -1½-goal spread in the sportsbook.
Foden and star midfielder Kevin de Bruyne have missed time with injury but have returned to training with Manchester City. They could both play a part in this match which would be a big boost for City.