Manchester City

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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


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


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


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


Swansea City v Manchester City Betting Tip Over 2.5 goals, 2016-05-15

Premier League Tips

Sunday 15th May 2016 Kickoff 1500hrs
Swansea City v Manchester City
Football – Premier League – England

Following Manchester United’s late capitulation away to West Ham on Tuesday, qualification for next season’s Champions League is back in the hands of the other half of Manchester. City know that a win on the final day of the season away to Swansea would guarantee them fourth spot and ensure they have the opportunity of playing in Europe’s elite competition under their new manager Pep Guardiola. Swansea have achieved their aim of survival, very comfortably in the end, but they showed in their performance at Upton Park last weekend that they’re still very much a difficult opponent.

It’s been a strange old season for Swansea considering they finished in eighth spot last term. The first half of the campaign was a real struggle and seen them lurk dangerously close to the relegation zone and eventually cost Garry Monk his job. Three wins in their first 15 league matches was enough for the board to act and the man who was brought into replace Monk – Francesco Guidolin – was not an overwhelmingly popular choice but he has overseen a fair bit of improvement, guiding them to 11th spot and with an outside chance of another top 10 finish. His success has been rewarded this week with the decision to give the Italian a two-year contract – putting an end to speculation that Brendan Rodgers was set for a return to the Welsh club. Guidolin was also linked with a move to Watford during the close season so this week’s news will come as reassurance to the Swansea support that the club can start to build ahead of the new campaign.

No matter what happens on Sunday at the Liberty Stadium, one thing is for certain, this will be the last time than the popular Manuel Pellegrini will take charge of Manchester City. The Chilean arrived at the Etihad back in the summer of 2013 and proceeded to win the title in his first season in charge. That remains the only Premier League medal on his CV, as well as adding two League Cup, but it has not affected how well-liked he is amongst the City support. Of course, this season has also witnessed Pellegrini leading the club to the last four of the Champions League – narrowly losing to Real Madrid. His last task is finding a way to secure fourth spot, something that they have continually tried to make difficult for themselves this term. Last weekend’s draw at home to Arsenal – coupled with a heavy defeat to Southampton the week before – looked to have handed the advantage to United before their own defeat this midweek. Providing the blue half of Manchester can better their neighbour’s result then there is no way that they can be overtaken, but in this season that has been full of shocks there is nothing that can be taken for granted – particularly when this City team are involved.

Swansea are attempting to do something that they have not managed in over a year, and that’s win three straight games. A 3-1 win at home to Liverpool was followed with that impressive 4-1 showing away to West Ham last week and both performances and result will give them great hope for not only this weekend, but what lies ahead in 2016/17. The wins are made that more surprising as they came on the back of two lifeless performances against Newcastle and Leicester City, losing 3-0 and 4-0 respectively. At that point it appeared as though the Swansea players were already on their summer holidays but to their credit the response has been emphatic. The visit of Man City will of course be another test for the team but they’re now a team full of confidence and seemingly playing with a freedom that makes them even more dangerous.

One man who will not be making the journey to Wales on Sunday is club captain Vincent Kompany who has suffered yet another long-term injury that has also ruled him out of Belgium’s Euro 2016 plans. His absence has been a constant problem for them throughout this campaign, and whilst it’s unlikely that a fully fit Kompany could have seen them win the title, his influence and leadership would most certainly have them higher up the table. It’s not a great endorsement of a lot of the other players in the City squad who have been unable to shoulder that same type of responsibility and it will be something that Guardiola will have to rectify when he arrives in the summer. Every successful team needs more than one leader but they are few and far between at City currently.

Swansea City v Manchester City Betting Tips

It goes without saying that Manchester City would much prefer that they would be playing for the Premier League title on Sunday rather than the fourth place they are actually playing for. However, due to their inconsistencies that have blighted them all season, fourth is the best they can hope for. It would have been unthinkable at the start of the campaign that City would miss out on Champions League football and if it was not for West Ham’s heroics on Tuesday then that would have been very probable. You would expect United to take all three points at home to Bournemouth on Sunday so City simply have to win and look after themselves. It won’t be easy, however, as they’re facing a Swansea team who have won their last four at home – including against Chelsea and Liverpool.

The last five meetings between these two clubs have all seen three or more goals scored in them and that’s going to be the selection in this one. Swansea have found their scoring boots of late and five of their last six would have seen this bet a winner. Over 2.5 goals would also have been a safe selection in six of City’s last seven league games. Swansea are more than good enough to trouble the visitors, particularly with Kompany ruled out, and it should pave the way for an open match with plenty of chances.

Over 2.5 goals 8/15 @ Skybet


Real Madrid v Manchester City Betting Preview, 2016-05-04

Champions League Tips

Wednesday 4th May 2016 Kickoff 1945hrs
Real Madrid v Manchester City
Football – Champions League – Europe

When Real Madrid were paired with Manchester City in the semi-finals of the Champions League, two entertaining games, full of goals and excitement were expected. That made the match in Manchester all the more surprising as both sides approached the first leg with plenty of caution and appeared happy with the goalless draw. It would be virtually impossible for Wednesday’s game to be as uneventful but with so much pressure contained within this match, anything is possible.

The big team news surrounding Real Madrid last week was the late withdrawal (or non-selection, rather) of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward is practically an ever-present when fit, and is often selected even when he’s not quite 100%, so we know the knock that kept him out was serious enough. His absence would have undoubtedly had an impact on the way in which Zinedine Zidane set his team up to play as he is so pivotal to how Real attack. With three hat-tricks already in this year’s competition – and 16 goals in total – not having him available led to Real being much more conservative in attack from the outset. Zidane’s attacking options were reduced even further with Karim Benzema having to depart at half-time and unlike Ronaldo, the Frenchman will not be fit enough to take his place at the Bernabeu. It goes without saying that all connected with the club would prefer to have Ronaldo playing if they had the choice but Benzema’s influence as the central striker should not be underestimated – he’s the only player in the Real Madrid squad who plays that position effectively.

There was more than a hint of nerves in Manchester City’s performance last week which is unsurprising considering that it’s the first time they have ever competed at this stage. Manuel Pellegrini’s men started well enough and had the majority of possession in the first-half but they lost their way somewhat when David Silva was taken off injured late on in the first 45. Silva’s ability to link the play and retain the ball high up the field is essential to how City play and with him going off it left more space for Real’s deep-lying midfield to control the game better. It’s not certain the condition of Silva but it seems he’s more likely to miss out than play any part and that would be a severe dent to City’s hopes of reaching the final. Yaya Toure, who never played last week, has travelled to Madrid and could make a surprise return. His experience would be invaluable but he’s becoming rather erratic overall, and it could be something of a gamble if he was to start a game where the pace if likely to be much more frantic than eight days ago.

For all the plaudits that Real Madrid’s attackers get, it should be noted how good they have been defensively at home in the Champions League. No visiting team has scored in the 2015/16 competition, with a record reading five wins, 16 goals scored and none conceded. It’s that sort of record which will have given Zidane the confidence to be more defensive in their approach last week, knowing that they are capable of shutting out a Sergio Aguero-led attack in the return. It’s important not to get carried away, however, as Real have faced some poor opponents in their run to the semi-final. PSG are the strongest team they have faced to date but there appears to be a doubt over their credentials after a poor quarter-final tie against City. Other than that, Wolfsburg, Shakthar Donetsk, Malmo and Roma have all been kept to nil, but anybody who would have watched the game against the Italians would tell you the chances the visitors passed up that evening. I do not doubt that Zidane has had a positive impact on Real’s defence, and the influence of Casemiro is also a positive, but they can most certainly be got at.

City created virtually nothing last week but because they kept a clean sheet they know that should they score on Wednesday it will give them an excellent chance of reaching their first ever Champions League/European Cup final. Scoring goals on the road in this competition has not been an issue for them, either, managing 10 in their five games to date. Only last year’s finalists Juventus have managed to keep them at bay on their travels and that should give them plenty of hope going into this one. One major concern for Pellegrini is that they are also liable to concede away from home, and have not managed to keep a clean sheet since winning in Rome in December 2014. That’s the balancing act that the manager has to get right if they are to be victorious – being able to offer a real threat going forward, but also giving their defence the protection it needs.

Real Madrid v Manchester City Betting Tip

It was hard not to be disappointed with the first-leg so let’s hope that the return is much more what we had all originally anticipated. With Ronaldo back in the fold I expect Real to be much more of a threat. There were signs in the second-half that they were beginning to get on top of City and only a couple of saves from Joe Hart prevented them taking a precious lead home with them. How important those missed chances will be in the context of this tie remains to be seen but it proves that even with a decimated attack, Real have more than enough quality to create chances against this City team. The visitors would have been much better equipped if Silva was fit to start this game as his ability on the ball in the final third is so important, and he has an understanding with Aguero that has proven so deadly down the years.

It’s a return to the Bernabeu for Manuel Pellegrini who managed Real for one season back in 2008/09. As much as I would like to see it be a fairytale one for the likeable Chilean, I don’t think his team have quite enough to get them through. They lacked much-needed experience last week and that could ultimately be their downfall. Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in the Champions League and he has scored in seven of Real’s 10 wins in this year’s competition. The former Manchester United player would love nothing more than to score against City and book another appearance in the final against Atletico – it may not be the most original selection but Ronaldo to score and Real to win is the bet.

Ronaldo to score/Real win 11/10 @ Ladbrokes


Real Madrid v Manchester City Betting Tips: 1, 2016-05-04

Champions League Tips


Wednesday 4th May 2016 – Kickoff: 2045hrs

Football – Europe – Champions League Betting Tips

It’s a definite case of ‘Advantage Real Madrid’ heading into Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final second leg in Madrid following a 0-0 stalemate at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg.

Real Madrid have lost just once in their last twelve Champions League matches overall (which was a 2-0 defeat away at German outfit Wolfsburg earlier this month), but they then smashed Wolfsburg 3-0 at home in the second leg to continue their progress.

Real Madrid are also unbeaten in their last seven at the Bernabeu (having won six of these) along with scoring a total of 20 goals and conceding just 1 goal in reply during this sequence. The Spanish giants have also registered six clean sheets during this time as well which is an impressive statistic at this level.

Manchester City need to find another gear on Wednesday night following their dismal 4-2 capitulation away to Southampton in the Premier League on the weekend, and it’s never easy to suddenly click back into gear, especially when coming up against one of the best club sides in the world – and away from home.

City have had a decent run in this competition though as they’ve lost just once in their last ten matches overall at this level, but they do seem to be running out of steam (and dare I say, desire?) as this season draws to an end, knowing that current manager Pellegrini is on the way out.

The visitors will no doubt be pumped for this one, and will take confidence from recent away wins at Sevilla and Dynamo Kiev, but these teams are not in the same class as Real Madrid.

Pick: Real Madrid to win @ 1.53 bet365


Manchester City v Real Madrid Betting Tip 1, 2016-04-26

Champions League Tips

Tuesday 26th April 2016 Kickoff 1945hrs
Manchester City v Real Madrid
Football – Champions League – Europe

Now we have reached the last four of this year’s Champions League, the stakes are getting to their highest they have possibly ever been for Manchester City and their supporters. This is old hat for their opponents Real Madrid of, course, who are looking to add to their record of 10 European Cups which makes the next two games all the more fascinating starting with the first leg at the Etihad on Tuesday night.

Although City have won a couple of league titles among some other domestic honours over the last five years, they have yet to experience anything like the prestige or pressure that comes with playing at this stage of European club football’s premier competition. To their credit, their Champions League campaign has seen them go from strength to strength and in the last round against PSG, Manuel Pellegrini’s men were in complete control in the second-leg – even being able to afford to miss a first-half penalty. It was the type of mature performance that has been missing from City’s participation in previous seasons but it’s also one that they will have to improve on if they are to see off the giants of Madrid. One major change in recent games is how much better defensively they have been, keeping clean sheets in both of their knockout stage games against Dynamo Kiev and the French Champions. That may seem rather insignificant but when you factor in that City conceded in their last 14 home games in the competition before that, it’s a marked improvement. Whether or not they are able to keep this opponent at bay is another matter altogether, but they do at least have something to build on.

It wasn’t so long ago that this season looked to be a write-off for Real Madrid as they trailed Barcelona by double figures in the race for La Liga and performances in Europe were well below the level required to win this. Fast forward to now and Zinedine Zidane’s charges have cut the gap between themselves and their arch rivals to a point with three games to go, and following the current European champions’ exit in the last round, Real are now in with a great chance to reign supreme once again at the top table. It’s been a pretty remarkable turnaround but it would be foolish to think that they are completely transformed, as demonstrated with the weekend’s match with Rayo Vallecano. The defensive frailties that have blighted them so often this season came back to the fore in the first half as they were two goals down to their capital rivals. Only a terrific second half salvage prevented them from suffering a rather embarrassing and anti-climatic end to their title challenge, having only reignited it at the beginning of this month. Zidane will be conscious that his team can ill-afford to make the same mistakes against City who are unlikely to be as naive.

As has been the story of the season for Pellegrini, there is mixed news on the injury front as City prepare to welcome Real Madrid. Yaya Toure will be missing having picked up a knock against Stoke on Saturday and despite certain limitations in the defensive aspect of his game, his experience would be invaluable against a team he knows extremely well. On a more positive note, captain Vincent Kompany has not suffered any aggravation of his own injury and will almost certainly take his place in the heart of the defence. His presence as much as his own ability will be a great asset in what is new territory for the majority of this squad. Pellegrini will also be hoping to finish on a high before leaving the club at the end of the summer and making amends for a semi-final exit against Arsenal when manager of Villareal in 2006.

Zidane has his own injury concerns to worry about, namely Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. It goes without saying how important the two are to Real’s attack but the word coming out of the Real camp is that the two should play and form the infamous B B C with Gareth Bale. The Welshman has only recently returned to full-fitness himself but he’s finding his best form at just the right time, scoring twice in the comeback win against Rayo. The trio have combined for 92 goals in 102 games this season, which has been interrupted with relatively long-term injuries for both Bale and Benzema. Their record in the Champions League is equally impressive, scoring 20 goals in 22 games. The threat they pose is obvious, and attempting to dilute it is one of the hardest things in world football.

Manchester City v Real Madrid betting tips

It’s difficult not to get excited about this match-up such is the clash of styles and what is at stake. Despite both teams capable of scoring at will when on top form, they do so in very different ways so both matches promise to be full of excitement and key battles. Man City are undoubtedly the underdogs but they will take confidence both from their own performances against PSG (who ran Real Madrid close in the group stage) but also the fact that Wolfsburg were able to get the better of Zidane’s men in the first-leg played in Germany. City are a better outfit than the Bundesliga club and will have watched that tape with a lot of interest.

Real Madrid lost at the same stage to Juventus last season and whilst I would favour them to go through over the two legs, I definitely think that City have a chance, but they almost certainly have to take a lead with them to the Spanish capital next week. Key to any potential success is, as always, Sergio Aguero who is if course a former Atletico Madrid player, so he will have as much motivation as anybody to put one over on Real. There may well be a few goals over the two ties but the value play in the first leg is a home win.

Manchester City 2/1 @ Bet365


Chelsea v Manchester City Betting Tip Draw, 2016-04-16

Premier League Tips

Saturday 16th April 2016 Kickoff 1715hrs
Chelsea v Manchester City
Football – Premier League – England

When the fixtures were announced last summer, you would have been expecting that a match between Chelsea and Manchester City played in the middle of April would have a huge bearing on where the league title would end up. However, in a season where it has been almost impossible to predict much, neither of the previous two winners of the Premier League have a chance of finishing top of the table. Instead, City will be looking to consolidate fourth spot whilst Chelsea, well Chelsea appear to be playing out their season with next to nothing left to play for.

This season will be remembered as something of a disaster for Chelsea following an awful first half of the campaign that resulted in Jose Mourinho being sacked before the turn of the year. His replacement, Guus Hiddink, appeared to be getting them back on the path to some semblance of their old selves but recent disappointing results has brought an end to any possible revival. Defeats to PSG in the last-16 of the Champions League and against Everton in the FA Cup during March were the final nails in their 2015/16 coffin as it took away any chance of them winning silverware this term. Without the focus of winning a trophy, Chelsea’s performances have noticeably tailed off in the league where they currently sit 10th. Hiddink suffered his first defeat in the league since taking over in December when the Blues went down 1-0 away to Swansea last week. It put paid to an lingering hopes of finishing sixth and qualifying for the Europa League so it will be interesting to see how the players react in the remaining games, especially as a new manager is set to arrive in July.

As disappointing as City’s league form has been, Manuel Pellegrini’s team continue to make their mark on Europe with progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League. By the time they take the field on Saturday evening City will know which one of Bayern Munich and the two Madrid sides they will face over two legs for a place in their first ever final. Friday’s draw is likely to be more important for all concerned at the clubs but there is still a fight on for fourth which they need to ensure they enter the same competition next season – that is if they do not go all the way this time around, of course. Tuesday’s win over PSG was more than deserved, and they could even afford to miss a first-half penalty, but it’s likely they will have to up their performance level in the next stage. A surprisingly lacklustre display from their opponents helped matters but the other three clubs left in the draw will want to face City who are very much novices in the latter stages of this competition. Focus has to switch back to domestic matters first, however, as they look to fend off the challenge of rivals Manchester United for the final Champions League spot.

Hiddink has used Chelsea’s more recent league games to give more experience to some of the younger members of the squad, something the supporters have been demanding for a while now. It was something that Mourinho was reluctant to do but under the current circumstances – and with nothing other than pride to play for now – it is only right that the likes of Kenedy, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Bertrand Traore are given an opportunity. The Dutch interim coach has little to looks, of course, as he will depart Stamford Bridge when the season finishes ahead of Antonio Conte taking permanent charge. The former Juventus and current Italy head coach is an exciting appointment and if half of the rumours of the players being linked with the club are true, it could be something of a revolution at the club, which may not be a bad thing. There’s no question that a number of Chelsea’s established stars are in a comfort zone and that will need to change if Conte is to get them challenging for the league title and eventually in Europe.

Pellegrini has suggested that captain Vincent Kompany could return to the starting line-up on Saturday and that would be a timely boost for City as they prepare for the Champions League semi-finals. It’s also likely that Yaya Toure will be in the starting eleven having had to settle for a couple of substitute appearances last week as he bids to get back to full fitness. Last weekend results when City edged past West Brom and United were convincingly beaten by Spurs means the gap between the two Manchester clubs is four points with six games remaining – West Ham are a further point back. Fourth spot is certainly City’s to lose but considering the inconsistencies that have blighted their domestic season, nothing can be taken for granted. A result on Saturday would go some way to securing fourth, though.

Chelsea v Manchester City Betting Tips

Having been drawn against each other in the FA Cup earlier in the season, Chelsea have faced City twice this term and the record stands at one win apiece. A comprehensive 3-0 success at the Etihad in the previous league meeting for City was trumped by a 5-1 reverse at Stamford Bridge in February. The most recent meeting was overshadowed by Pellegrini opting to field a weakened team ahead of a Champions League game, and although they were roundly beaten in the cup, the decision appears to have been right considering their success in Europe.

The nine goals shared in both games this season is something of a surprise as there has only been 10 goals in the five previous meetings. I expect that we will see a much closer encounter on Saturday but it’s difficult to predict how both teams will line-up which makes selecting a bet that bit more difficult. Both meetings last season ended in 1-1 draws and it would not be the most surprising if that’s the outcome again. With Chelsea having little to play for and counting the games down until the end of the season, and City knowing a point is probably a decent result all things considered (not to mention their main priority being the Champions league) both sides could well settle for a draw in a game that will have an end-of-season feel to it.

Draw 28/11 @ Marathonbet


Manchester City v PSG Betting Preview, 2016-04-12

Champions League Tips

Tuesday 12th April 2016 Kickoff 1945hrs
Manchester City v PSG
Football – Champions League – Europe

The first leg between these two clubs was probably the most entertaining of all four quarter-finals played last week and there’s plenty of reason to hope for the same as both Manchester City and PSG look to qualify for the last four for the first time in their history. Courtesy of the two away goals that City managed in Paris last Wednesday, they come into the return as slight favourites to progress but this should be another tight contest and it could go down to the wire.

Considering the inconsistencies that have plagued Man City this season, particularly in the league, their performance last week – in a high pressure situation when it really mattered – was a touch surprising. Credit must go to Manuel Pellegrini and his players who have come in for a lot of criticism over the last couple of seasons, but they went some way to answering those critics with arguably their best result of the whole campaign. Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho have given City a great chance of progressing but the manager will be making it known to the squad that the job is only half done and they must be able to play at a similar level if they are to finish it off. Pellegrini will take a lot of heart from the fact that his team were not only a threat from the off in  the Parc des Princes, but also because they showed a lot of character to come back from 2-1 down in the second half and grab a equaliser. Both of the goals that they conceded were easily preventable, however, and could be put down to a lack of concentration. That will be something that has to improve if they are to take their place in the semi-final draw.

The first leg proved to be a frustrating night for Laurent Blanc’s men who had went into the game as a big favourite to take a lead with them to Manchester. A rare missed penalty from talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic early on in proceedings set the tone for the evening and despite dominating for large spells, were unable to secure a vital lead. In some ways, it was similar to how they performed against Chelsea at home in the last round in that they created more chances and looked to have the beating of their opponent but seemingly unable to close the game out and looked vulnerable in defence. It will be a concern for Blanc but he knows how capable this squad is and they showed just that in the return leg at Stamford Bridge, which will be the aim if they are to continue their quest for success in this year’s Champions League. This, of course, is the stage where the Parisians have been knocked out in each of the last three seasons and a repeat of that would represent something of a failure and could spell the end of this current coaching regime.

City’s defence also looked suspect last week but that is nothing new and has been a severe hindrance all season long. The absence of Vincent Kompany continues to have a huge impact on their backline. Not only is the Belgian their best centre half, but he’s also the communicator at the back and that was an issue for them throughout last week’s game, none more so than when Joe Hart and Fernando got into an embarrassing mix-up for PSG’s first goal. Those types of errors are something that should not be seen at this stage of Europe’s premier competition, but it’s in-keeping with City’s performance in Europe this term. It’s now just one clean sheet in their nine Champions League games this season which, although a testament to how good they are in attack to be able to, is also a massive handicap and will become even more so the deeper they go.

PSG have their own personnel concerns as both Blaise Matuidi and David Luiz are missing through suspension having picked up bookings last week. Marquinhos will come into the centre of defence and could actually be an improvement on Luiz in this sort of atmosphere, especially up against somebody like Sergio Aguero, but it’s Matuidi who will be the biggest miss as his energy and drive from the middle of the park is a massive strength of PSG’s entire game. Marco Verratti missed last week because of injury and is doubtful ahead of this one as well which would be a severe blow. As good as Thiago Motta is in possession, he does not have the legs and there is no other direct replacement to compensate for the absence of the dynamic midfield duo.

Manchester City v PSG Betting Tips

There was a lot of discussion around the quality of last week’s game which is hardly surprising considering the number of errors and mistakes that were apparent throughout the 90 minutes. That made for it to be entertaining, though, and I for one hope we are in for a similar game. Too often games at this late stage of the Champions League turn out to be dull as the pressure of the situation becomes too much and teams resort to keeping things tight at the back. Man City and PSG – for all their combined wealth – are inexperienced at this level so it’s not overly surprising that they may not be as refined or sophisticated as the elite teams, just yet.

In typical Ibrahimovic fashion, the Swedish striker has stoked the fires ahead of the second leg by declaring that he would be interested in signing for City’s rivals, United, when his contract comes to an end this summer. He is likely to have a big say once again and will be looking to atone for his missed penalty. With five goals in his last six Champions League games he is in excellent form in Europe and can take advantage of what is obviously a struggling City defence. I was initially looking to put up the visitors as the selection but I am concerned about their absentees in the middle of the park which could hand the initiative to City. It’s a game that screams chances and goals so instead of backing either team, side with the excellent Ibrahimovic to continue his good form in the competition by notching anytime.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score during the 90 minutes 6/5 @ Coral