Manchester City v Celtic
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side look to bounce back after Saturday’s Premier League defeat to Chelsea when they play host to in-form Scottish Premiership outfit Celtic in the Champions League on Tuesday. The two sides took a share of the spoils in a six-goal thriller at Celtic Park back in September, but City are favourites to see past Brendan Rodgers’ men at the Etihad Stadium this time round. Despite having already sealed their place into the knockouts as group runners-up, Manchester City will be keen to pick up all three points to build up momentum ahead of the busy winter fixture list. Manchester City have been inconsistent in all competitions for many weeks but will regard a home tie with Celtic as a must-win. In the Champions League, the Sky Blues are currently second with eight points from five games, with a win and a draw from their last two European encounters. Pep Guardiola enjoyed a win over his former side Barcelona in City’s last home game in the group and should have no problems against the Scottish visitors this week with Celtic having such poor away form in the Champions League. City have a 100% home record to maintain too and are sure to name a strong side to get the job done. To seal their place in the knockouts, City won two and drawn two of their five group games, having won their opener to Borussia Monchengladbach before a draw away to Celtic preceded defeat away to Barcelona. City responded with a win over the Catalans at the Etihad Stadium, before recently drawing away to Gladbach. Their domestic form has been inconsistent ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Brendan Rodgers’ men – having failed to win five of their last eight in the Premier League – but the gulf in class between City and Celtic should tell. Celtic have are flying high in the Scottish Premiership but their European form couldn’t be more contrasting – shipping 15 goals for their troubles. Currently rock bottom of Group C with just two points from five games, Celtic have been the whipping boys in Europe. They have lost home and away to Barcelona without scoring and suffered defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach at Celtic Park. Brendan Rodgers’ men are eliminated from the group stages and have no chance of finishing third for Europa League football due to their inferior head-to-head record with Gladbach. As a result, it’s hard to see a full-strength Celtic side travel to the Etihad Stadium this week giving it their all to try and get a result. It’s a dead-rubber game for both clubs but the pressure will be on City if they fail to win at home to the Bhoys. Despite conceding three goals the first time they met Celtic in the group, City should be more assured this time around. They’ll be afforded the lion’s share of possession to dictate proceedings and have only lost once on home soil in all competitions this season so the Scots have a tough task to get a result. Manchester City should maintain their 100% home record into the knockouts, confining the Scots to their fourth defeat from six in Europe.