Manchester City

On this page you find articles on Manchester City and sports betting in general.

Middlesbrough v Manchester City Betting Tip – 11 March 2017

Manchester City

Saturday 11th March 2016 Kickoff: 1215hrs Middlesbrough v Manchester City Football – England – FA Cup Now we are getting to the latter stages of the FA Cup there is a mixture of cup and Premier League action over the course of the weekend. There have been longstanding arguments about whether playing league games on cup weekend dilutes the prestige of the FA Cup but that’s a debate for another day and for other more concerned people. One of the all Premier League ties of the quarter final stage sees struggling Middlesbrough host a Manchester City team who may see this as their best and most obvious chance of a trophy.

2017 has been abysmal thus far for Aitor Karanka and his Boro team as they slip ever closer to an immediate return to the Championship. Their last win in the league came way back on the 17th of December and since then it has been 10 straight without success. They have failed to score in seven of them which has further highlighted a major issue that has blighted them ever since Karanka has arrived at the club. Boro are the lowest scorers in the Premier League, scoring a measly 19 and despite being relatively good defensively, are in serious danger of going down. Currently third bottom with only four wins all season, they are now three points adrift of safety and unless they can find some form soon then you seriously fear for them. The only slight positives for them since the turn of the year is the fact they have been able to record two victories in this competition, beating Accrington Stanley and Oxford United. Unfortunately, they have not been anything like convincing in either of them and it goes without saying that this game will be a much different proposition.

City had been building up a bit of steam of late with four straight wins in the league and an impressive come from behind win over Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. That good run came to somewhat of a halt on Wednesday as they were frustratingly held by Stoke at home, the game ending goalless. It all but puts paid to their hopes of catching Chelsea at the top of the table and leaves them to concentrate on securing a top four finish, progressing in the Champions League and attempting to win this. Their route to this stage has also not been straightforward having been taken to a replay by Championship outfit Huddersfield. They did of course go on to win 5-1 at the second time of asking, and that followed two comfortable successes away to fellow Premier League teams West Ham and Crystal Palace. With the second leg against Monaco to come next midweek it is a busy time for Pep Guardiola’s men but they do have a slight advantage with this game being played early afternoon Saturday before playing in France on Wednesday.

Middlesbrough v Manchester City Betting Tip

These two met in the league at the Etihad back in November when Middlesbrough were able to register a very credible draw and deservingly so as well. It was a period in the season when City were really struggling for form whilst Boro were arguably at their most impressive stage of the campaign. Much has changed since then and the fact it is in the cup may also see the teams take a slightly difference approach.

Both managers have elected to use their squads in the FA Cup – which is basically the done thing for Premier League clubs these days – so we cannot be entirely sure how either team will line up, which makes it slightly more difficult to advise a bet but what we do know for certain is that Manchester City’s squad has far more depth and quality to it in comparison to Middlesbrough. City have shown some real good form in the cup thus far and have actually found it easier scoring goals in the FA Cup than they have in the league. There is an argument to be made that playing in this could prove a welcome distraction for the home side but considering their current position I think it’s the complete opposite. Boro cannot afford to priorities the cup if they wish to stay in the Premier League, in my opinion, and if they are to exit it this weekend as I suspect they will, I do not anticipate it being too devastating for Karanka. City have won three of their four games in this competition by three or more goals and I think that’s another realistic outcome this weekend. The main selection is backing the visitors minus a goal but I would also not put anybody off being more adventurous and also having a go at -2 and -3 goals.

Manchester City -1 6/5 @ Stan James

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Manchester City v Monaco Betting Tip Both teams to score – 21 February 2017

Champions League Tips

Tuesday 21st February 2016 Kickoff: 1945hrs Manchester City v Monaco Football – Europe – Champions League The second set of last 16 fixtures take place over Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and they look more evenly matched than some of the games played last week. One that certainly falls into that category is Manchester City against Monaco which may not have looked as competitive if the draw was made eight months ago. City have regained some much needed form of late but they will have their hands full against a Monaco team who lead PSG in Ligue 1 and have been scoring for fun.

The decision to entice Pep Guardiola to City, and pay the many that comes with it, was to improve the club’s performance in the Champions League. Manuel Pellegrini eventually led them to the last four in his final season but they rarely looked like threatening Real Madrid over the two legs and went out tamely. Guardiola has of course won this competition twice as manager as Barcelona but could not get his previous club Bayern beyond the last four stage. It was not a vintage group stage by any means but they did show that on their day, this City team can compete and beat the best when brushing aside Barcelona 3-1 at the end of October. As ever though, achieving that consistency is key and that performance was more the exception than the norm meaning they had to settle for second spot. Being drawn against Monaco definitely presents them an opportunity but they’re also a team who cannot afford to underestimate an opponent.

Monaco have been a breath of fresh air in Ligue 1 this term as their attacking football has been one of the big stories of the European season. Not only is their style of play pleasing on the eye but it’s effective as well, and the team from the principality are putting it up to PSG who have dominated French football of late. What makes their league form that bit more impressive is the fact they have been able to combine their efforts with progress to this stage of the Champions League – a campaign which they started back in July. They had to negotiate two tricky encounters against Fenerbahce and Villareal before being drawn against Tottenham, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow. Monaco deservedly topped that group, losing only one game which was on match day six in what was a meaningless game for them having already qualified. They come into this game with more than a fighting chance and will cause plenty of problems for City.

Manchester City v Monaco Betting Tips

These two have never met in a competitive game before but City only have to look at Monaco’s recent record against English teams to realize how difficult both legs will be. Monaco accounted for Arsenal two seasons ago – turning in an excellent performance at the Emirates – whilst they also won home and away against Tottenham and were the better team in both games. City took seven points from their three home games in the group stage and considering they did not win any of the reverse fixtures, will feel they may need a lead to take to Monte Carlo for the second leg.

Games involving Monaco virtually guarantee entertainment and although City have tightened up of late, they are yet to convince against an attack such as the one that Tuesday’s opponents possess. The visitors are spearheaded in attack by Radamel Falcao but they are known for scoring goals from all over the park. Guardiola will no doubt have something up his sleeve to combat that but there remains a fragility about this team. Four of Monaco’s six group games seen both teams scoring whilst three of City’s also seen the same outcome , and it looks a safe selection to click on this occasion.

Both teams to score 7/10 @ Betfair

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Huddersfield v Man City Betting Tip Over 3 goals – 18 February 2017

FA Cup Tips

Saturday 18th February 2016 Kickoff: 1500hrs Huddersfield v Manchester City Football – England – FA Cup The Premier League takes a backseat this weekend as the FA Cup reaches the last 16 stage. Teams will now beginning to think that if they can win two more games they will be playing at Wembley and there’s plenty of teams from the lower league who remain in with a chance of doing that. One of those teams is inform Huddersfield who take on what appears to be a huge challenge with Manchester City coming to town. That said, the Terriers are riding high in the Championship and are full of confidence.

David Wagner was best known as being Jurgen Klopp’s right hand man before coming into English football, but he is quickly being recognized as a very talented and effective coach in his own right. He’s been in charge of Huddersfield for just over a year and the improvement at the club in that time is remarkable. Now, in the middle of February, the Yorkshire club are sitting third in the table and are only five points off of leaders Newcastle. Bearing in mind this is a club who have never played in the Premier League and have yo-yoed between this level and League One for the best part of a decade, that in itself is some achievement. They look well placed to finish in the top six at the very least and if they can continue on their current form – where they have won their last six and lost only one of their last 15 – then they will have an excellent chance of finishing in the top two and securing automatic promotion. Wagner and his players will switch their attention to the FA Cup this weekend and although underdogs, they will surely relish taking on Pep Guardiola and City.

City themselves seem to be in a really good point of their season just now, with Monday’s win away to Bournemouth meaning they have now won four straight – the first time since the end of September. Considering how dominant they were in the opening weeks of the season and the expectation amongst the support with Guardiola’s arrival, that’s remarkable in itself. The key challenge for all concerned is being able to maintain a similar level of form for the rest of the season and attempt to challenge on all three fronts. City have returned to second spot in the league where they remain a lengthy eight points adrift of Chelsea and will take on Monaco next midweek in the last 16 of the Champions League but before that, they face a tricky game on Saturday as they look to progress in a competition which they have not won since 2011. It may be that the FA Cup presents City’s best opportunity of winning silverware in Guardiola’s first season, as sobering as that may be.

Huddersfield v Manchester City Betting Tips

This game pits two teams in excellent form against each other and it should be an entertaining one at that. City have a huge game coming up in the Champions League but Huddersfield also have a very important fixture of their own this coming Tuesday as they host Reading, a team just below them in the table, in a game that is bound to have an impact on the promotion picture in the Championship. All that can wait, however, and we can look forward to this one first, particularly as it takes place at 3pm on a Saturday.

Both Wagner and Guardiola have similar philosophies on how the game should be played which should ensure this is an entertaining game. Huddersfield have only lost twice at home this season and have scored eight goals in their two FA Cup games to date, albeit against lower league opposition. City have had more than their fair share of disappointments this season, especially on the road, but there are signs that the team’s mentality is strengthening to go with their undoubted quality. They, too, have scored eight in the FA Cup and have also yet to concede, and both games have been against Premier League opposition – away from home. I expect the trend to continue in this one and advise backing over three goals, meaning if there are exactly three goals scored then stakes are returned.

66/67 @ 10bet

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West Ham v Manchester City Betting Preview – 6 January 2017

Manchester City

Friday 6th January 2016 Kickoff: 1955hrs
West Ham United v Manchester City
Football – England – FA Cup

The FA Cup Third Round has long been one of the most anticipated weekends on the English football calendar and whilst it may carry the same prestige as it once did, there’s still excitement around. West Ham face Manchester City in the first game of the round this year, with both sides requiring a boost from what has been a disappointing first half of the season. West Ham last reached the final in 2006 – contesting an epic encounter against Liverpool, whilst City have reached it twice in the last six seasons, winning once against Stoke before a shock loss to Wigan two years later. Who will take one step closer to Wembley this time around?!

There was real positivity building around West Ham after Slaven Bilic guided the Hammers to seventh – and a place in Europe – in his first season in charge, ahead of their move to the London Stadium. That positivity has been tempered somewhat this term, however, as West Ham have been unable to hit those same heights. Monday’s loss at home to Manchester United was their 10th defeat of the season and one that leaves them in the bottom half of the table. They do have a seven point cushion over the bottom three and managed to string three crucial wins together in December, but expectation now is such that the supporters are not accepting of merely surviving in the Premier League. The club have this week been linked with several strikers in a attempt to add depth to their squad and it could be a new signing with a proven ability to score goals at the top level will ensure they kick on between now and May.

The hysteria that surrounded Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad has been diluted somewhat with City struggling to keep on track with leaders Chelsea at the top of the Premier League. Recent losses to that opponent and Liverpool have highlighted some real shortcomings of the team and their seemingly inability to put a run of form together that many felt they were capable of. For a manager that only knows success in Spain and Germany, his first experience of England has certainly been something of a reality check and one that has begun to annoy Guardiola who has been noticeably irked with the media of late. His players at least showed some of the desire and grit that has been lacking by defeated Burnley at home despite playing the majority of the game with 10 men and will be hoping that the result and second half performance is the foundations for a very positive run of form to begin 2017 – starting with Guardiola’s first FA Cup game this evening.

West Ham United v Manchester City Betting Tips

These two have already met in the league this season as City survived a second half scare to record a 3-1 win which took them to the top of the table at the time. That seems a long time ago for Guardiola but he’ll be desperate for another win over the hammers with a view to continuing City’s participation in the competition. West Ham will just be hoping that the switch of competition brings with it better results at home than the league does. To give them some confidence, they have already defeated Chelsea in the other domestic cup this term.

Both teams have struggled defensively this season which should mean for plenty of goals in this encounter. West Ham have kept just four clean sheets all season whilst City have not been much better with seven – taking into account that two of them were against Steaua in the playoff round of the Champions League. Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals was a slightly unlucky loser for us in midweek but I think that’s the route to go on this occasion.

Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals 20/23 @ Coral

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Leicester v Manchester City Betting Tip Manchester City – 10 December 2016

Premier League Tips

Saturday 10th December 2016 Kickoff: 1730hrs

Leicester City v Manchester City                                                                        

Football – England – Premier League League

With European football now out the way until February for both these clubs, all attention focuses on Premier League points for Leicester and Manchester City. The two will come into this weekend’s game needing the win for very different reasons as the hosts attempt to climb away from the relegation zone whilst their opponents will be looking to close the gap at the top of the table. It’s fair to say that neither have had the best of weeks so a win to end it would be very much welcome for both managers.

After the huge high of surprising everybody and winning the Premier League title last season, Leicester have came crashing back down to earth domestically, at least, and find themselves in 16th spot after 14 games. They have, of course, qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League – topping their group no least – but competing in two competitions seems to have been their undoing in the Premier League. The summer additions do not seem to have added the depth required so Claudio Ranieri will be relieved that he can concentrate solely on ensuring they are not dragged into a relegation battle and attempt to pull clear before they return to European action next year. They welcome City on Saturday evening having failed to win in the league since the 22nd of October, losing three of their last five. Another major concern for the manager is their poor defensive record as the Foxes have not kept a clean sheet in the league for eight games.

City will be on a recovery mission this weekend after a disappointing home defeat to Chelsea last Saturday which further illustrated that there is some serious work needing to be done with this team. The defeat was compounded further with the petulant dismissals of both Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero who will both miss Saturday’s trip to Leicester, indeed the latter will not be available for selection in the league again until New Year’s Eve. The situation is certainly not terminal as City lie in fourth, four points adrift of leaders Chelsea. They, too, have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League but Guardiola (who is known as a perfectionist) will know better than anyone that if they are to be successful in England and Europe, then performances and standards will simply have to be a lot better on a more consistent basis – starting on Saturday.

Leicester City v Manchester City Betting Tips

Leicester surprised world football last season when they took on and defeated the best England had to offer, and City failed to beat them on either occasion the two met. The circumstances surrounding the first meeting of the two this term are much more different as the home team come into it desperate for some respite after a recent poor run. City have not performed to the levels we expect but they could well have that bit of extra quality to make the difference.

As both clubs had already ensured qualification for the next stage of the Champions League, Ranieri and Guardiola opted to rotate their squads so their first choice XI will be well rested ahead of this one. City have won their last three away games in the league and even without Aguero I fancy them to edge this one and inflict yet more misery on their hosts.

Manchester City 3/4 @ Betfred

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Manchester City v Celtic Betting Tip Both teams to score – 6 December 2016

Champions League Tips

Tuesday 6th December 2016 Kickoff: 1945hrs

Manchester City v Celtic                                                                                        

Football – Europe – Champions League

Incredibly, this week sees the final round of group stage matches in this season’s Champions League. It seems like barely any time has passed since both these teams were opening their campaigns back in September but they will close out this stage of the competition with very different paths ahead of them. City have already done enough to secure second place and qualify behind Barcelona for the last 16. Celtic, on the other hand, will finish bottom of the group and will only be playing for coefficient purposes along with pride. That said, if we can get a repeat of the game at Celtic Park then we could well be in for a treat.

City do not come into this match on the back of the result they would have been hoping for after losing 3-1 at home to Chelsea last Saturday. It was a game hyped as being between two teams with genuine title credentials and many people’s favourites for that accolade. Despite going a goal up in the first half, Pep Guardiola’s men were well beaten in the end and done themselves no favours for the upcoming matches with the nasty sending offs of both Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho in the latter stages. As they had already qualified and could finish no better than second in the section, it’s unlikely that Guardiola will change his strategy for this game but he may just be that little bit more motivated to ensure they finish the group off on a winning note and refocus minds ahead of their weekend fixture away to champions Leicester on Saturday evening. City will also be keen to continue their winning record at home in the Champions League where they have racked up six wins and two draws in their last eight games at the Etihad.

Celtic looked set to be on course for their first ever domestic defeat under Brendan Rodgers against Motherwell at the weekend as they went behind 2-0 and 3-2 before a rousing comeback ensured a 4-3 win and stretched their lead further at the top of the Scottish Premiership. The second half performance was a further indication of how much growth and development this team has went through in the six months that Rodgers had been at the club, and further illustration of their dominance of the Scottish game. European football has been much more challenging, of course, as you would expect when you compare the resources of the Scottish champions to the likes of City and Barcelona. Qualifying for the group stage was the main goal this term and that as achieved after three qualifying matches. Their chances of progressing any further were not helped when drawn in this section, and the writing was on the wall with a 7-0 thrashing away to Barcelona to kick off proceedings. To Celtic’s credit, though, they have turned in much more accomplished performances since that loss and could easily have a couple of wins on the board. As it is their two points have come at home to City and away to Borussia Monchengladbach – they’ll be hoping to add to that tally tonight.

Guardiola is expected to give many of his fringe players a run out this evening with a view to not only give some of the younger players in the squad further experience, but also allow his key players some rest after what has been a hectic first half of the campaign. Many of his squad have played two games a week since early August between domestic, European and international commitments and this dead rubber of a match presents an opportunity for a break ahead of what will be a chaotic festive period for the club as they bid to climb their way back to the top of the table. What the manager (and neutral) will be looking for from those who come in is the tempo to be right from the outset otherwise it could descend into something of a training game.

It would be a surprise if Rodgers plays anything other than his strongest team available for the game as he looks to lead his players to what would be a famous win. It may not mean anything in terms of qualification but it does provide an opportunity for his team to continue to grow at this level and build their coefficient rating which should mean an easier passage in future qualification campaigns. Celtic have plenty to look forward to between now and the end of the season but they will want to avoid a similar performance and result to that they experienced against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. There were plenty of positives to take from the 1-1 draw against Monchengladbach in their last away game and it will be about building on those.

Manchester City v Celtic Betting Tips

The 3-3 draw back in September between these two was arguably the game of the group stage and whet’s the appetite for tonight’s game. It’s sometimes difficult to get players motivated when there’s little meaning to the result but as it’s another clash between Scotland and England – and the fact that thousands of Celtic fans have travelled to Manchester – the atmosphere should help with the pace and tempo of the game. It’s a match that probably means more to the visitors as Rodgers will have his eye on developing his players further ahead of their next participation in the Champions League.

Defences were posted missing at times when they last met and neither were on top form at the weekend in their respective domestic matches when both shipped three. I envisage another entertaining game at the Etihad with City and Celtic both demonstrating they have plenty of options in attack throughout their seasons thus far. City’s last six games have all seen both teams scoring and Celtic certainly have enough to trouble them on Tuesday backed by their amazing supporters, and it was also a winning selection for the column back in September in the last meeting.

Both teams to score 8/11 @ Stan James

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Manchester United v Manchester City Betting Tip Both teams to score – 26 October 2016

English Football Betting

Wednesday 26th October 2016 Kickoff: 2000hrs

Manchester United v Manchester City

Football – England – EFL Cup

Despite only coming to the end of October, Wednesday plays host to the second Manchester derby of the season as United meet City for a place in the quarter final of the EFL Cup. The red half of the city will be looking for some revenge following a 2-1 defeat in the league back in September.

Anybody expecting United to have immediate success with the arrival of Jose Mourinho will be suffering from something of a reality check at this point in time. Having been in the wilderness somewhat since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, the club went all out to get Mourinho to replace Louis Van Gaal during the summer and there was a belief that the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach would have an instant effect on the club’s fortunes. That belief was further strengthened when he acquired some big name players (and personalities) that appeared to have been lacking under the previous two managers. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, amongst others, were the high profile players that United supporters craved, and hoped would get them back to the top of the tree in England this season. Fast forward a couple of months and the smart money is on the turnaround at Old Trafford is going to take slightly longer. Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea would have been a humbling one for all concerned, particularly Mourinho against his old club, but it was also an illustration of how limited this United team remain when having to chase games. Few can compete with the Portuguese man when it comes to frustrating opposition teams, but losing a goal so early in the game was their downfall and one they could not recover from.

Ten wins from the first 10 games of the season looked to have City on track to fulfill their own supporters’ expectations of this season. With Pep Guardiola arriving at the club, along with a host of big money signings, there was huge optimism surrounding the club and they could not have started the season in better form – both domestically and Europe. The last five games, however, have brought them back down to earth with a bump and there is a need for a significant improvement if they are to have the success that so many predicted. City remain winless in the month of October having lost to Tottenham and Barcelona, and drawn at home to Everton and Southampton. There’s no doubt that they have suffered some bad luck along the way and could easily have more points on the board than they currently possess, but there remains a naivety to how the team defend and that is being exploited at every opportunity. Guardiola has enjoyed overwhelming success everywhere he’s went but there is some suggestion that he is trying to overcomplicate matters early in his City career with certain player selections and tactics, not least leaving Sergio Aguero on the bench against Barcelona last midweek.

Mourinho has been critical of the performances of some of his players already this season and he would have been angry with the manner of the defeat against Chelsea on Sunday. Despite their early season troubles, United remain just six points off the league leaders and are definitely within reaching distance. However, the concern has to be around their overall performances which have been far from convincing, especially in attack. The arrival of Zlatan was expected to solve their goal scoring problems, in the short term at least, but he has struggled over the last six weeks, scoring just one goal in his last nine appearances. His last goal in the league actually came when these two last met at Old Trafford in September. Without him scoring regularly there has been a distinct lack of goals in general, as United have managed to score more than one goal in just four of those games.

With Champions League qualification far from assured at the halfway stage, and with their league campaign faltering, Guardiola has understandably stated that there will be some changes ahead of this EFL Cup match. Despite being drawn away to their biggest rivals, this competition still ranks as the least important of the three they are currently contesting and it will provide an opportunity for some of his fringe players to get a run out, at the same time affording key players some rest. Kevin De Brunye is ruled out through injury but we can expect several more changes to the team that faced Southampton on Sunday. Nevertheless, considering the run they are on at the moment, all concerned will be hoping that Wednesday night is a return to winning ways as City try to spark their season back into gear.

Manchester United v Manchester City Betting Tips

When the two met in the league back in early September, City looked to be a superior outfit for long spells but the match could easily have been drawn late on. Whilst this week’s game will not carry the same significance, it remains a derby and one that both managers will want to win, even if they are likely to freshen their teams up ahead of important league and European fixtures in the next week.

Although it may not have the array of stars that would normally bestow this fixtures, there will be plenty of talent on show and a number of match winners on both sides. I often think that this competition allows teams to play with a bit more freedom as it is not the same prestige or importance that others carry. As that’s the case, we should expect to see Mourinho play with less restrictions that he normally may and as Guardiola tends to play a similar way all the time, I can see this being another entertaining encounter – similar to the 2-1 game which City edged. The visitors have not kept a clean sheet since the middle of September whilst United have only managed to shut out on opposition team at Old Trafford since August, and that came in the Europa League to Zorya. Both teams to score looks a reasonably safe bet, here, at tempting odds.

Both teams to score 3/4 @ Betfair

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Manchester City v Everton Betting Tip Both teams to score – 15 October 2016

Premier League Tips

Saturday 15th October 2016

Kickoff: 1500hrs Manchester City v Everton

Football – England – Premier League

The latest International break has come to a conclusion meaning the domestic action returns to our screens this weekend. The Premier League is back with a bang with a number if intriguing fixtures including Manchester United’s visit to Liverpool and Chelsea hosting last season’s champions Leicester. However, the only game featuring two of the top five takes place at the Etihad with league leaders Manchester City looking to return to winning ways as they host fifth place Everton.

Pep Guardiola won his first 10 games in charge of City when arriving from Bayern Munich this summer but he’s now failed to win either of his last two. A 3-3 draw with Celtic in the Champions League at least preserved their unbeaten record but many people’s favourites for the title came unstuck against Tottenham last time out, going down 2-0 at White Hart Lane. It was a stark reminder that despite the quality they possess, City still has a long way to meet the expectation that has been placed upon them since Guardiola took over. They were thoroughly outplayed against Spurs but remain top of the table by one point and will attempt to get back to winning ways with the visit of Everton on Saturday. No visiting team has left the Etihad with anything thus far – either in the Premier League or European competition – and we know how dominant Guardiola’s teams tend to be on their own patch.

It has been a very good start for Everton under the stewardship of Ronald Koeman for the first time. After what was a bitterly disappointing campaign last time out, where they could only manage an 11th place finish. That, combined with similar disappointments in previous seasons was enough for the Everton board to act and relieve Roberto Martinez of his duties. Koeman has impressed during his time at Southampton and he’s picked up at Goodison where he left off with his previous employers. The Toffees won four of their first five league games, surpassing their best ever start in the top flight. Convincing wins over Sunderland and Middlesbrough looked to set them up perfectly for what appeared to be two winnable games away to Bournemouth and at home to Crystal Palace. That wasn’t to be the case, however, as Everton managed just a point from those fixtures. Nevertheless it has been an excellent beginning and one that will excite their fans again who were becoming disillusioned under Martinez.

As ever with international weeks, City had a plethora of stars away on duty with their countries which makes it difficult for the coach to prepare for the upcoming games. City also face the first of what will be a double header against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday meaning Guardiola’s selection for the Everton game will be interesting. One man who will almost certainly play in both is the red hot Sergio Aguero, despite being away with Argentina. The little striker has been sensational thus far, scoring 11 goals already, despite missing three games through suspension. He’s struggled against Everton in recent times, though, failing to score in his last three league meetings with them but he did notch when City defeated the Toffees in the League Cup semi-final earlier this year.

One man who epitomized the inconsistency of a Roberto Martinez Everton team was striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker could look a world class player one week and virtually unplayable, whilst in the next game he would be completely ineffectual. He would go on long spells without scoring a goal before a streak of five or six games where everything he hit went in the net. Koeman appears to have had a positive effect on the big Belgian’s form thus far, with five goals in his first six league games, including a hat-trick away to Sunderland. He’s continued that good form into his international duty, scoring three goals in two qualifying games. It’s somewhat ironic that his country is now managed by Martinez but by continuing to work with Koeman at his club then you feel we will see the best of Lukaku on a consistent basis.

Manchester City v Everton Betting Tips

Whilst it’s somewhat surprising that this game is not televised, there is something about three o’clock kick offs on a Saturday that adds to the excitement with so many big matches played at other points of the week. Although both teams have started the season in a positive manner, their last couple of results will ensure that the determination to get the three points here will be that wee bit more. You can never be sure how the first game back after an international break will go but there is so much attacking talent on show and both coaches will set their teams up to go forward as much as possible.

Recent meetings between the two have tended to be close fought affairs despite the relative wealth of both. Only one of the last five league meetings have been settled by more than one goal and it could be a similar story on Saturday. Everton have only failed to perform in one game this season – the 1-0 loss at Bournemouth – and it is obvious to see how much better organized they are in defence. The addition of Ashley Williams has been a major factor in that and whilst he will have his hands full with Aguero and company, I believe the visitors will be a match for City and continue their record of scoring in all their games this season, bar that defeat two games ago. City have won all three of their home league games thus far but they were made to work for their wins over Sunderland and West Ham, who both managed to breach the home side’s defence. Both teams to score is the selection here and it wouldn’t surprise me either if Everton could score more than one goal.

Both teams to score 8/13 @ Betfred

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Celtic v Manchester City Betting Tip Both teams to score – 28 September 2016

Champions League Tips

Wednesday 28th September 2016 Kickoff: 1945hrs

Celtic v Manchester City

Football – Europe – Champions League

The Champions League continues on Wednesday with a Battle of Britain at Celtic Park. The Scottish champions suffered a sobering 7-0 defeat away to Barcelona on match day one whilst Manchester City were far too good for German cracks Borussia Moenchengladbach at home – despite a delay of 24 hours because of bad weather. The two take each other for the first ever time in European competition on Wednesday in front of what will be a special atmosphere on another Celtic Park European night.

There’s no doubt that Celtic faced a huge uphill task when the draw was made at the end of August having been paired in the group of death. Just reaching the group stages was seen as an achievement for the Hoops having missed out on the last two seasons, particularly as they started their qualifying campaign back in the middle of July. That was a distant memory a fortnight ago in the Nou Camp, however, as Leo Messi and company reminded Celtic of just how big a step up it is from the Scottish Premiership to this level. Bearing in mind Brendan Rodgers’ men had just defeated their arch rivals Rangers 5-1 the weekend before, to be on the other end of a heavy defeat would have brought them right back down to earth. Things do not get much easier for them this round as they take on Manchester City team who are flying in the English Premier League. Nevertheless, this campaign will be seen as a learning curve for a young Celtic team who will relish playing in the big games, on the big occasions. Confidence should be high as well considering they hammered Kilmarnock 6-1 in the league on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City had long been mooted and the club’s supporters were rightly excited at the prospect of the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach leading their team. That feel has been well placed with City winning their first 10 matches under the Spaniard. The style in which they have been victorious also has to be admired as Man City have already scored 30 goals during that spell, demonstrating just how much firepower they possess. Their biggest test to date has been the Manchester derby where they ran out convincing 2-1 winners at Old Trafford and sent out a warning to the other teams in the league that they are vastly improved from the team that limped into fourth place last season under the departing Manuel Pellegrini. Following violent thunderstorms, City’s opening Champions League match had to be postponed until the following day but it had little impact on their performance as they brushed aside ‘Gladbach to get their campaign off to the perfect start. Along with Barca, the English club are hot favourites to progress from group C, and on the evidence we have seen so far that looks more than likely to happen.

Due to Leigh Griffiths recent injury, summer signing Moussa Dembele has been given an opportunity to lead the line for Celtic over the last month and he has certainly grasped the chance with both hands. A hat-trick against Rangers earlier in the month was followed with another three goals since, illustrating how much a talent the 20 year old Frenchman is. The only disappointment for him was missing a penalty against Barcelona when the score was 1-0. It would be some leap of faith to suggest that if he had scored it that Celtic would have managed to get a result from the game but it would it was a chance they could not afford to pass up and set the tone for the rest of the evening. Although Griffiths returned to action as a substitute at the weekend, it’s expected that Dembele will get another chance up top as he bids to add to the two goals he scored in qualifying.

Another striker bang in form is City’s Sergio Aguero who has started this season on fire. His star quality has been apparent for a long time but the arrival of Guardiola seems to have already had an impact on the contribution of the little Argentinean. A hat tricks against Moenchengladbach in the previous game are three of his 11 goals thus far and providing he is able to stay fit it appears ominous for any opposition defenders. Bearing in mind he has also served a three game ban this term, his scoring record is ridiculous. Of course, there is no lack of service with Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Nolito and Kevin de Bruyne providing the ammunition. Unfortunately for City, the last named of that quarter will be missing on Wednesday due to injury.

Celtic v Manchester City Betting Tips

European nights at Celtic Park are amongst the best this competition has to offer and tomorrow night should be no different. The Scottish club have held their own against the best the continent has to offer but they will be severely tested with the visit of City who look imperious at this point in time. It does not appear that the heavy defeat to Barcelona has left any lasting marks on Rodgers’ men going by their domestic performances but they will hope to be more competitive at home, even though they are coming up against another excellent team who score from all over the park. City will be targeting this game for a win as they look to challenge Barcelona for top spot in the group.

Celtic’s real strength is going forward as they have proven with their excellent domestic scoring record, and they really should have been on the score sheet against Barca as well, courtesy of Dembele’s penalty. City have yet to concede in the competition thus far but they have only kept one clean sheet other than that so there is a weakness there if the home team can exploit it. Whilst I think the visitors will have too much quality overall for their opponents, and class will tell, they are not invincible and the likes of Dembele and Scott Sinclair have enough about them to cause problems. Both teams to score has been a winner in five of Celtic’s seven home games this season and is the way to go here.

Both teams to score 4/5 @ Bwin

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Manchester United v Manchester City Betting Tip Both teams to score – 10 September 2016

Premier League Tips

Saturday 10th September 2016 Kickoff: 1230hrs
Manchester United v Manchester City
Football – England – Premier League

Despite only less than a month into the new season, Saturday sees on the of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures as the two Manchester clubs come head to head. As well as being the standard derby clash which is enough importance and meaning for the two sets of supporters, it also brings together arguably the two highest profile managers in the world in Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. The two are not strangers of course having both coached in Spain where Guardiola’s Barcelona usually had the edge against the Mourinho managed Real Madrid. They renew acquaintances once again on Saturday as City travel to Old Trafford with both teams 100% start to the season on the line.

Mourinho made no secret of his desire to take over at United and be finally got his chance during the summer with the challenge of getting the Red Devils back challenging, and winning, the title. Their start to the season has been an impressive one and United are already looking like a Mourinho type team. Three straight wins against Bournemouth, Southampton and Hull is exactly what the club needed to get over the disappointment of last season when they missed out on the top four and playing in the Champions League. The manner of their wins over Bournemouth and Southampton was impressive as they dominated from start to finish and were in full control, paving the way for comfortable successes. United were on top for the vast majority of the game against Hull too but were kept at bay until added time. Marcus Rashford’s winner could well be a sign of things to come this season as it was a throwback to so many games under Sir Alex Ferguson when they would win games late on.

City too have enjoyed a good start to the season with three wins from as many games in the Premier League and also easing into the group stages of the Champions League. Their last game before the recent international break was a 3-1 win at home to West Ham in what was a relatively routine success despite only scoring the clinching goal in the last couple of minutes. The win came at a cost, however, as Sergio Aguero threw a reckless elbow in the second half which led to him being given a three match ban following the use of tv evidence after the game. That ban begins immediately meaning be will be absent for the trip to Old Trafford and that is a massive blow. Despite City stockpiling a plethora of attacking midfielders and wide players, there are not many options to play in the lone striking role. Kelechi Iheanacho is the most obvious replacement but you would not put it past Guardiola to play somebody in a more withdrawn role. Whoever plays furthest forward will have big shoes to fill, especially against an opponent whom Aguero has enjoyed great success against in the past.

With big games come big expectations and they can only be met with big characters and personalities. Unfortunately for United those characters have been somewhat lacking in recent seasons but the spending spree Mourinho has overseen since arriving has ensured that the big time players are once again back at Old Trafford. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba are world class talents but they also possess an arrogance and swagger that the club itself has been missing, and they will have to come to the fore this weekend in the derby game, particularly as United are the home team and will be looking to assert their authority. In addition to the players, the arrival of Mourinho brings with it the biggest ego of the lot and the manager has already stated he feels this squad is capable of winning of the league.

City have already shown how devastating they can be going forward having scored four against Stoke and three last time out against the hammers. Guardiola’s men have hit teams with sudden bursts of flair and attacking intensity but they have not been able to sustain that for an entire game and remain very much a work in progress in the early days of the former Bayern Munich manager’s reign. Pep has opted to go with just one defensive midfielder in his first month in charge but he may see Saturday’s game as one where his team need to be more cautious in their approach. City also have Champions League duty during the week when facing off against Borussia Moenchengladbach and a draw at one of their biggest rivals may not be the worst result going into the start of their European campaign.

Manchester United v Manchester City Betting Tips

The two derbies last season were pretty forgettable as the team’s played out a goalless draw at Old Trafford before a solitary goal from teenage sensation Marcus Rashford earned the spoils at the Etihad. We can only hope that the rivalry will be better this term and there’s plenty of reason why it should considering the arrivals at both during the summer – particularly both managers. There was plenty of controversy when the two clashed in Spain and whilst Guardiola has attempted to play down their own battle, it probably won’t take much to see some sparks on the sidelines as well as on the pitch itself.

The absence of Aguero is huge for the visitors, not only is he their best goalscorer but his influence on the team in general should not be underestimated. He’s deservedly serving a ban, however, and it will be a test of some of the other big players such as David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne who have flattered to deceive in the big games over the last season. We know Mourinho’s preference is to keep it tight against fellow title challengers but the atmosphere in this one could see it explode and I would not be at all surprised if we see some goals. Neither team would be disappointed with the draw but they will both be trying to win it from the off and both teams to score looks a solid pick whilst a smaller play on 1-1 is also of interest.

Both teams to score 10/11 @ William Hill

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