City's Champions League campaign has long appeared doomed, with Real Madrid tipped to put the final nail in the coffin on Wednesday
|By PAUL GOUGH
The punters are backing Real Madrid to put big-spending Manchester City out of their Champions League misery when the two clubs meet in the pick of the eight games to complete matchday five on Wednesday.
City, who reclaimed the lead in the English Premier League with a 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa on Saturday, have been the big disappointment of this season's competition so far and are headed for an embarrassing early exit for the second year in a row.
With two matches remaining, City are last in Group D with only two points from four matches, behind Germany's Borussia Dortmund on eight, Real on seven and Eredivisie club Ajax on four points.
City suffered an unlucky last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Real when the teams met in Madrid earlier in the competition. But with Real having won their past five matches in La Liga, City are coming up against a high-class opposition beginning to hit top form.
Real are the $2.24 favourites to win this game at Betfair - a result which would send City out of the competition - with Roberto Mancini's team at $3.25 and the draw $3.95.
|Arsenal and Schalke to win their Group B matches
||Anderlecht to win v Milan at $2.96 at Betfair|
Betfair's Daniel Bevan said Real had so far attracted around 53 percent of the money wagered on the game, while in contrast only a third of money so far has been on the home side with the remainder on the draw.
Meanwhile, in the other game, Dortmund - unbeaten in what is the toughest of the eight groups in this year's competition - are the $1.89 favourites to win away to Ajax at $4.30.
In Group B, meanwhile, Arsenal have the perfect opportunity to progress from the group stage for a staggering 13th year in succession.
The Gunners are in second spot on seven points but will be guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages if they beat last-placed French club Montpellier and German leaders Schalke win at home against third-placed Greek club Olympiacos.
And that is exactly what should happen, with the Gunners $1.34 favourites with Betfair at home to struggling Montpellier at $11.50, while Schalke are the $1.49 favourites to win at home against an Olympiacos side that normally struggles away from home at $8.40.
In Group A leaders Porto are the shortest priced favourites of the night at $1.15 against already eliminated Dinamo Zagreb at $29, while big-spending French club PSG can join Porto in the Round of 16 by getting at least a draw away to Dynamo Kiev - priced at $3.45 at Betfair - with the visitors the favourites at $2.60 and the draw at $3.
And finally, Group C leaders Malaga of Spain are underdogs but great value at $4.90 away to bottom-placed Zenit St Petersburg at $1.81, while Belgian side Anderlecht have a great chance to jump above faltering Italian giants AC Milan into second spot in the group.
The Belgian club, which has won their past five games in all competitions, are great value at $2.96 with Betfair to win at home against a struggling Milan at $2.60.
*Note prices subject to change