On this page you find betting tips related to Manchester City.
November 5th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
Champions League Tips
Manchester City V Ajax
Tuesday, 6 November 2012 – Kick-Off: 19:45 GMT
Live on ITV1
A succession of victories is the minimum requirement now for Manchester City, who, with just one solitary point accrued after three Group D contests, are facing up to the prospect of having to beat Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in their remaining three clashes – the latter two in Germany and Spain – in order to give themselves a fighting chance of qualifying for the last-sixteen. Even then, were they to pull off something miraculous by beating all of the aforementioned trio, it may not be enough.
Having succumbed to Ajax and Real Madrid on the road, and having only managed a disappointing but ultimately fortuitous draw at home to Borussia Dortmund, Man City find themselves in the unenvied position of requiring wins from all three of their remaining group games to stand any chance of qualifying from yet another Group of Death. I say another as last season saw Roberto Mancini’s team drawn alongside Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villarreal. City would finish the group phase on a respectable 10-points – which just so happens to be the best points-tally they can hope to achieve this time around – and yet that was only good enough for a third place finish…
It has to be demoralising in a way, to be all too aware that even were you to string three of the most unlikeliest victories together, it may still not be sufficient. That is, nevertheless, the gauntlet facing the reigning champions of England, and they begin their ‘all or nothing’ sequence at home to Dutch champions Ajax, who were sound 3-1 winners when the two sides met in Amsterdam a fortnight ago. I suspect Man City will exact revenge in Manchester, where they are currently unbeaten in eighteen European home games having triumphed in no fewer than fourteen – although the odds on a home win are uninspiring to say the least.
The best odds you will find on a Man City victory are the 9/20 on offer with BetVictor. To be honest, I make that about right. This is a young, exuberant Ajax side crammed full of potential, but one that is still learning its trade in many respects, certainly in Europe at least, and is going through a woeful spell domestically (Saturday’s 2-0 loss at home to Vitesse stretched their winless run to four matches in the Eredivisie). By comparison, this City team is comprised of some of the wealthiest footballers in the industry, and they are paid vast sums to deliver world-class performances each and every time they take to the pitch – which, to their credit, they have done for the best part of the past eighteen months.
Ajax played some lovely football in Amsterdam it must be said, and were deserving of their victory, but there is an argument that the Amsterdammers were deceptively impressive. The fact they were brushed aside with so much ease by Real Madrid on Matchday 2, in Holland, when losing 4-1, and that Frank de Boer’s charges have struggled to overcome mediocre opposition on the domestic front having triumphed in just four of their opening eleven fixtures, would suggest City really were that poor on the night – and they certainly were. You would like to think it is near-impossible for Man City to produce another sub-par performance like that, but their subsequent outings would perhaps suggest otherwise.
Since that 3-1 reverse inside the Amsterdam Arena, City have kept successive clean sheets for the first time this season, but did so in an unconvincing manner, labouring to a 1-0 home win over Swansea and an uninspiring 0-0 draw away at West Ham on Saturday. Quite how Joe Hart kept those clean sheets is beyond me, as both the Swans and the Hammers spurned glorious chances to get their noses in front and potentially claim famous wins.
The main reason for City’s travails this season is their apparent inability to control matches, with Roberto Mancini’s usually tidy and assured side anything but so far this term. The prolonged absence of talisman David Silva certainly hasn’t helped, but it isn’t as though this City squad isn’t deep enough to cover the loss of the odd big-hitter. And the Citizens will be shorn of several on Tuesday, with Micah Richards, Maicon, Jack Rodwell and James Milner among the injured party, while Joleon Lescott is a doubt.
Can’t say I am too enthralled with the odds on a home win, but I do understand the bookies’ viewpoint. As disappointing as Man City have been so far this season, especially in Europe, they really ought to be brushing their opposition on Tuesday – an Ajax side which has gone their last four Eredivisie matches without winning – aside with the sort of ease that Real Madrid displayed at the Amsterdam Arena on Matchday 2, when running out resounding 4-1 victors. I reckon they will… eventually, but it might take until the second half before the hosts find their rhythm. As has been the case on numerous occasions already this season.
A small play on the HT/FT market for me then, with Draw/Man City a fair price at 18/5 with BetVictor bearing in mind City have taken a lead into half-time in just four of their thirteen Premier League and Champions League games this season, while 15 of the 22 goals they scored in those same fixtures were netted after the half-time interval. I will also have a wager on a certain Argentine maestro returning to his prolific best.
Sergio Aguero has endured a frustrating start to the new term, netting just twice in all competitions, though he did miss several weeks through injury. However, Roberto Mancini opted to start his leading marksmen from last season (30 in all competitions in the 2011-12 campaign) on the bench for Saturday’s goalless draw with West Ham, seemingly with Ajax in mind, and a refreshed Kun Aguero is a frightening prospect.
Both Bet365 and BetVictor go 4/1 on the 24-year-old scoring supremo opening the scoring, and offer odds of evens on him netting at any point in proceedings. I have a lot of love for both bets, as the imminent return of Aguero to the starting-XI will inject some much-needed energy and life into what has been a, well, lifeless City attack of late.
Draw/Man City @ 18/5 with BetVictor
Sergio Aguero FGS @ 4/1 with Bet365 & BetVictor
Sergio Aguero Anytime Scorer @ EVENS with Bet365 & BetVictor
October 25th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
Premier League Tips
Manchester City V Swansea
Saturday, 27 October 2012 – Kick-Off: 17:30 GMT
Live on ESPN
In this very fixture last season, Manchester City closed out the opening weekend in an authoritative manner, with a stylish 4-0 win, and, in doing so, announced themselves as genuine title contenders. Some nine months later they would be crowned Premier League champions for the very first time, in the most dramatic of fashions, but it was their resounding victory over Swansea, who at the time were a little green competing in their very first Premiership fixture, which truly got the gears in motion.
If the Citizens were racing through the gears this time last year, twelve months on and you could argue that the wheels have almost certainly come off. Wednesday’s horror showing in Amsterdam, losing 3-1 away to Ajax in a crucial Champions League group match, leaves City requiring a minor miracle if they are to qualify for the latter stages of the competition. Heck, at this rate they may not even be playing in Europe after Christmas (they now trail third-placed Ajax by three points firmly in the knowledge that they are still to host Ajax and Real Madrid, let alone make the daunting trek to Borussia Dortmund).
Worrying times indeed for folk at Eastlands, particularly as they’ve not exactly been firing on all cylinders in the league either. Somehow, despite encountering their fair share of adversity along the way, Manchester City have clambered up to third in the table, level on points with their city rivals United but trailing leaders Chelsea by four. Last week saw them come from behind to rescue a result for the fifth time this season, a startling statistic when you consider the season is a mere eight games old, with Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko netting twice from the bench in the closing ten minutes to secure what could turn out to be a pivotal 2-1 victory at West Brom.
That win last weekend maintained City’s winning streak in the league, which now stands at three games, and they’ll be confident of making it four on Saturday, at home to Swansea, despite all that transpired in Amsterdam. However, the spotlight is now well and truly glaring on manager Roberto Mancini following his bizarre decision to revert to three at the back when trailing by just the one goal, which was followed by a killer third Ajax goal within moments of the change. Defender Micah Richards’ comments post-match, that the squad have not spent any time practising with three central defenders, will not reflect at all well on the Italian tinkerman.
To his credit, Mancini did accept the brunt of the blame for the midweek defeat – not that it matters a great deal, with seemingly irreversible damage already self-inflicted. Although a positive riposte is essential if the team are to overcome their current slump, especially this weekend of weekends. That’s because a little less than 24 hours after Mancini and his troops welcome poor-travelling Swansea to the City of Manchester Stadium, for a fixture they are hotly fancied to win, table-topping Chelsea welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge for a Super Sunday showdown.
Potentially, then, City can make real inroads on either of the sides above them, or even both should it end all-square in West London. There is your motivation already, not that they need it following the dire nature of their midweek loss. Therefore I get the impression that their performance at the weekend will go one of either ways: they will lash out in fury like a wounded animal by helping themselves to lots of goals, or they’ll trudge to a result as they wallow in self-pity. With so many commanding figures in the dressing room (Mancini, Kompany and Joe Hart especially) I cannot see it being the latter.
So I expect goals from Man City. I’d like to think a fair few, too. Can’t say they’ll not concede some of their own, mind – even though Swansea have drawn blanks on their last two away outings in the league, in 2-0 defeats at Aston Villa and Stoke, Michael Laudrup’s team have plundered two goals or more on five occasions this season, while City, uncharacteristically you might say, have one measly clean sheet to their name (when beating a poor Sunderland side who aren’t the most creative anyway).
David Silva could also return for the host, which would be a massive boost – Mancini, so desperate was he for a result on Wednesday, that he finished the match with all four forwards on the pitch. The potential return of Silva would instil some much needed balance into the team, as well as a huge boost in creativity and all-round attacking input.
As for Swansea, well they have no fresh injury concerns and may well opt for the same eleven that helped them quell a five-match winless run last time out, when beating Wigan 2-1 in Wales. Michu, a midfielder by trade who already has six Premier League goals to his name for the term, started that game up front, in place of the out of form Danny Graham, and is tipped to spearhead the attack again.
- Three consecutive league victories has helped Man City, who remain one of two teams still to taste defeat (W5 D3 L0), to surge up to third in the table, level on points with Man Utd but still four behind leaders Chelsea.
- Man City have only kept one clean sheet in their eight league games thus far, which was in a 3-0 rout of Sunderland at the City of Manchester Stadium on 6 October.
- A frustrating run of five league matches without a win was brought to an end last week when Swansea edged out Wigan 2-1 at home.
- Swansea cruised to a 5-0 victory in their very first away league game of the season, at QPR, but have since lost back-to-back away matches without scoring, losing 2-0 at both Aston Villa and Stoke.
The Win-Draw-Win market is a no-no, as while City certainly find themselves at a low point in the season, I cannot envisage them coming unstuck. Swansea’s form has curtailed far too much in the last month or so for them to be considered a serious threat to a home victory in this fixture, although that isn’t to say they don’t posses the personnel – especially from an attacking perspective – to cause the odd scare. Anyway, I feel punting on a couple of scorers may be the way forward in this contest, seeing as it is live and ideally you’d want a bet to deliver value for money throughout the majority of the game if you plan on watching.
Michu in particular could be a thorn in Man City’s side; the Spaniard has been a revelation since joining the Swans in the summer, netting six times with an assortment of strikes (half of those were netted with his head). The 6ft 1in attacking-midfielder-come-striker will be the focal point to Swansea’s attacking intents all afternoon long and, at 5/1 to score at any point in proceedings, could be outstanding value provided he is supported well by the midfield – the wings especially, which is where Swansea have been their most devastating this season.
The Man City selections are somewhat of a minefield. So many forward personnel underperformed during the week that Roberto Mancini is well within his rights to make several high-profile changes here, with Scott Sinclair and David Silva contenders if fit. Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez – substitutes in midweek – also come into the equation seeing as Edein Dzeko and Sergio Aguero played the full 90 minutes.
Quotes of 4/1 on Scott Sinclair seem big, especially with Silva doubtful and Nasri also playing the full quota of minutes in Amsterdam. And there won’t be many more determined to get on the scoresheet in this fixture than Sinclair, a tricky winger by trade as well as a summer transfer from Swansea – not that he holds a grudge against his former employers, but pretty much every player loves to net against their former club. So I’ll take some of the 4/1 on the former Swansea oldboy, along with some of the 11/1 available on Vincent Kompany.
Vincent Kompany was a model of consistency in the City backline last season. He has been anything but so far this term, with his irresponsible actions at West Brom last week resulting in James Milner being dismissed early on. The Belgian has been at the heart of a defence which has received stinging criticism of late, not only for their abysmal performance in Holland but for failing to keep more than a single clean sheet in the league to date. He is, though, a determined individual and you get the impression that it won’t be long before he’s back to being the assured centreback enforcer he once was.
Sure enough, though, Kompany will also be determined to atone for his errors this season with a goal, if possible, that could catapult his team further up the table; he’ll no doubt contest any set-plays City earn, then, with real vigour and intent, and he could take some stopping if the delivery is spot-on.
Tips (All Anytime Goalscorers)
For Man City: Scott Sinclair @ 4/1 (888Sport)
Vincent Kompany @ 11/1 (Ladbrokes)
For Swansea: Michu @ 5/1 (Ladbrokes)
August 12th, 2012 / callum - Category:
Premier League Tips
The Community Shield takes place this afternoon and the
traditional curtain raiser to the English Premier League season features two
sides who’s main aspiration, domestically, will be to be top of the pile come
next May. Current Champions Manchester City take on reigning FA Cup and
Champions League holders, Chelsea at Wembley. The only other creditable
challengers (at the moment) for this year’s league title are Manchester United.
Arsenal may enter the reckoning if they strengthen their defence and midfield,
as well as keeping hold of captain Robin Van Persie, but even then I don’t
think they can muster enough of a sustained challenge to the top three clubs.
City have yet to add to last season’s squad despite the best
efforts of the club. Van Persie was coveted at the start of the summer but it
seems as though his preference is to move elsewhere. Roberto Mancini believes
he needs to strengthen before the close of the window with a defender and
striker seemingly a priority. Daniel Agger of Liverpool seems to be his chosen
defender but it depends if the valuation of the buying club is similar to that
of the selling club. Mancini knows that he has to not only mount another charge
for the title but also achieve a prolonged run in the Champions League after
being knocked at the group stage last season. He has been able to hold on to every
one of his key players. Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Augero
will once again form the spine of the light blues – and it’s a pretty
formidable one at that1
Chelsea have been the biggest spenders in English football this
problem with Roberto Di Matteo set to take charge of his first full season in
charge. It couldn’t have went much better for the Italian as caretaker as he
not only captured the FA Cup but managed to do something that the likes of
Mourinho, Ancelotti and Scolari couldn’t do – win Chelsea’s first ever European
Cup. He has certainly not rested on his laurels, bringing in Oscar and Eden
Hazard, who join up with Marko Marin, signed before the summer. It addresses
what had been a real problem in recent years for Chelsea, a lack of genuine
creativity from midfield. It also signals a change in the style of play as they
have been used to playing a more direct and forcing style of play. Juan Mata’s
signing attempted to rectify that but he was doubled up on my many teams
resulting in the threat being nullified. The addition of extra creativity and
pace – which has too been lacking – will benefit them greatly. It should also
help their £50m man Fernando Torres. Fresh off another International tournament
win with Spain (and collecting the Golden Boot) El Nino has to hit the ground
running this year. He’s into his second full season now at the club but has
failed to convince. Now that Didier Drogba is no longer the main striker that
should alleviate some of the pressure and allow him to play more freely and
finally come good. He has to.
Sir Alex Ferguson will not have suffered as much angst and
disappointment as he did on the final day of last season ever before in his
illustrious career in football. Losing the title on the last kick of the season
was agonising but he will use it to spur both him and his players on to success
this season. Shinji Kagawa has been bought from Bourrusia Dortmund and has been
the club’s sole major transfer. Nick Powell was also brought in but the
youngster still has a lot to learn before he can be considered a viable candidate
for being a regular in the side. Again, like City, they have not lost any of
their key players which is as beneficial as any new signing. Captain Nemanja
Vidic is back fit after missing most of last season and his return is massive.
Many will point to the fact that they still haven’t bought another central
midfielder but the emergence of Tom Cleverley could go some way to softening
that blow. It’s obvious that Ferguson is still looking to strengthen as well
with negotiations for Van Persie still ongoing. With that in mind, it’s
reasonable to expect them to add at least one new face before their assault on
the title gathers full pace.
The coming season is one of the most intriguing for some
time. City have never been in this position before, how will they react?!
Chelsea are redeveloping their team and style of play, and having spent
millions on doing so, it’s not expected they will get a lot of time to succeed
under what is still a relatively rookie in Di Matteo. Whilst United are the
wounded animal; they never hit the heights they were capable of last season but
only lost out on goal difference.
I think all three will strengthen before the end of August
and that could reshape the market further. Chelsea still requires at least one
defender and one central midfielder despite the plethora they have already got.
City will be on the lookout for that central defender and possibly another
striker (depending on departures) till the last gasp of the window and their
city rivals will also be looking to bolster their attacking options, with the
possibility of adding a midfielder to the ranks.
There doesn’t seem to be a balance within the Chelsea squad
as yet and although that may change in the next couple of weeks, I don’t see
how they can accommodate all of their attacking midfielders. The other concern
would be the lack of an out and out striker to deputise for Torres. Daniel
Sturridge is unlikely to want to sit on the bench again for the odd run-out and
still looks short of what is needed at a club of their size. I think the Blues
will be in and around the title picture for much of the season but ultimately
That leaves the two Manchester clubs – again! City just got
past the finishing line ahead of United last season, can they do it again?
Well, no, not in my opinion. For all United never reached the level they were
capable of last season, they were still only undone by goal difference, whilst
City’s key players had the season of their lives. With Vidic back for the Red
Devils and further creativity added with the purchase of Kagawa that could
prove the difference. Should they acquire Van Persie as well, and remove some
pressure from Rooney, that would only enhance my view of them as the most likely
winners of this season’s Premier League.
Manchester United to win the Premier league, 11/4 @ Ladbrokes
January 24th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
English Football Betting
Liverpool V Manchester City
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 – 19:45 GMT (LIVE on SKY SPORTS 1)
Carling Cup Semi-Final, Second Leg
Tensions are slowly, but surely, rising at Anfield following yet another setback – the latest in a long line. A shock 3-1 reverse away to Bolton on Saturday was Liverpool’s fifth of the term and left them six points adrift of the top-four, even slipping below Newcastle in the table down into seventh place. They could very well make amends at home to Manchester City on Wednesday, but that seems highly improbable on current form.
Due to a lack of continuity with results, Liverpool may struggle to finish fifth at this rate (a position which rewards Europa League football). There is still a lot of football to be played but the Champions League is gradually fading into the distance, despite the fact their rivals for fourth-place are just as inconsistent as they are. So clinching a record eighth Carling Cup could be their best route back onto the continental stage. You never know, it could even be the catalyst for better.
Should Liverpool secure the Carling Cup, first by grounding out a result on Wednesday against the current outright Premiership leaders (a win or draw will suffice after winning 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg), before beating Championship opposition in the final in the form of either Cardiff City of Crystal Palace, then the club will have European football sewn in for next season. Now that would go some way to relieving some of the pressure on the team, because the fear of failure is, in my opinion, swallowing a lot of them whole.
The expectations levels at Anfield are huge, arguably bigger than at any other club in England bar arch rivals Man Utd. The minimum requirement this season is European qualification, even if that means the Europa League. A first trophy in six years would also be nice. Both are daunting objectives for a group with very little big-club experience; Jose Enrique, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll all signed from smaller clubs – harsh, but true – and for most, the pressure has been too much.
The reason I say all this is because Wednesday’s Carling Cup semi-final second leg is massive, monumental even for Liverpool. Most turn their noses up at the League Cup nowadays but for Liverpool it is a chance to banish the monkey from their back, to secure their first silverware since the 2005 FA Cup. This could be the platform for a bright and prosperous future, the one promised by principle owner John W Henry. But do they have it in them to hold their nerve under a barrage of expectancy.
As daft as it may sound, winning the opening leg in Manchester is arguably easier than clinching victory at Anfield. Why? Because nobody expected them to come away from the Etihad Stadium, where the Citizens have won 11 out of 11 in the Premier League so far this season, with a result, especially not a win. The pressure was completely off them, so they could play their football with an element of freedom.
Few foreseen a Reds victory two weeks ago. I was the one exception however, so it could pay to stick with me here – and I am of the belief that Liverpool will struggle to retain their tender advantage.
For starters, going into the deciding second leg knowing you do not have to win to progress is dangerous in itself. Any team would love to be in their position, but it’s a precarious one nonetheless. And they do so in the knowledge that they’ve won only three times at home in their last nine league and cup games, and on the back of their humbling experience at The Reebok. Plus they’re still without Luis Suarez, meaning once again Kenny Dalglish is reliant on a striker in Andy Carroll whose only goal in three months came at home to Oldham in the FA Cup.
Roberto Mancini is still shorn of a number of influential figures but has a whole 90 minutes in which to eradicate Liverpool’s slender lead. He’ll also demand that his team make a bright and snappy start to proceedings as well, so that they’re in the ascendency early on, as to try and capitalise on what I suspect could be more than the odd nerve in the home camp.
City dominated the early exchanges in the corresponding fixture, on November 27 in the league, and the City chief will demand something similar on Wednesday. You’ll fancy a repeat as well, as the squad will be buoyed by their dramatic late win over title rivals Tottenham on Sunday. Plus they’ve a knack of scoring early on; City have scored within the opening 30 minutes in five of their eleven away Premier League games this season, while on eight occasions they’ve at least found their way onto the scoresheet in the first period.
Two weeks ago I correctly predicted – and I haven’t done that too many times of late – that Liverpool would earn a result at the Eithad Stadium in the first leg of this Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester City. They did just that; Steven Gerrard netting the only goal of what was a ugly affair to watch from the penalty spot. From then on it was backs to the wall, although chances were few an far between from a City perspective.
I’m predicting a role reversal here. The onus is now on Man City, who must carve out openings against a defence which for the most part is dogged, resilient and extremely well-organised. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday, when lowly Bolton struck three times against an abject Liverpool side who probably had one eye on this second leg. After that performance, having seen proof that their defence is capable of capitulating, I am not convinced with Liverpool’s prospects here – which doesn’t sit well on top of all their underachieving exploits at home already this season.
You’d like to think Liverpool will be all fired up for this clash, but on too many occasions they’ve been lacklustre at home especially in the final third. That is unlikely to change with Luis Suarez still out of the side, and with Dalglish unsure as to which of his misfiring forwards he should go with. Andy Carroll has scored just once in three months while Dirk Kuyt still awaits his first goal of the season.
As for City, well they definitely have goals in them, all over the pitch in fact, and that could be decisive as they look to open Liverpool up right from the start. If they do succeed and make this an open contest, you’d fancy them to win this second leg outright ten times out of ten. So the visitors are certainly value for me, at odds of almost 2/1. That is unless Mancini rotates and rests some of his stars after Sunday’s gruelling encounter with Tottenham. Don’t see it myself.
Recommended Bet: Manchester City to WIN MATCH @ 9/5 WilliamHill
Value Bet: Manchester City to be WINNING at Half-Time @ 5/2 StanJames
Match Odds: Liverpool 7/4, Draw 19/10, Man City 9/5 (WilliamHill)
To Qualify: Liverpool 2/5, Man City 2/1 (Bet365)
November 29th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
English Football Betting
Arsenal V Manchester City
Tuesday, 29 November – 20:00 GMT (LIVE on SKY SPORTS)
English Carling Cup, Quarter-Finals
Predictably, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he will rotate his squad for Tuesday’s Carling Cup quarter-final tie with Manchester City, who themselves are set to draft In an entirely new starting XI. Yet Roberto Mancini having a tinker doesn’t give me the same uneasy, anxious feeling.
Quite simply, depth will tell at the Emirates. Well, that’s how I see it anyway. Neither can afford to name their strongest eleven for tomorrow’s game, with the Premier League and Champions League taking precedent over a competition which still fails to garner the full respect of the country’s heavyweights.
So then, don’t expect to see too many from Arsenal team which laboured to a 1-1 draw at home to Fulham in the league on Saturday, not after three games in a week. Thus, there will definitely be no Robin Van Persie. So that’s their linchpin gone. Thomas Vermealen, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Gervinho and Theo Walcott are others who, in all probability, may not even make the bench.
Wenger has confirmed that young Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Yossi Benayoun are certainties to start, and I suspect those two will be joined by Carl Jenkinson, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Frimpong and Andrey Arshavin, among others on the fringes of the Gunners team. It doesn’t sound convincing, does it? Not when you consider what Roberto Mancini has install for them.
Sunday’s gruelling encounter at Anfield will force Mancini’s hand in many respects, not that he will have needed much persuading to rest several of his key men. The difference being, City are capable of fielding two, possible even three teams that would give most in the Premier League a good going over.
I am expecting to see a wrath of changes from the side which earned an invaluable point away at Liverpool at the weekend, with big names such as Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero set to be replaced by, well, players of a similar calibre in Kolo Toure, Nigel De Jong, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko. Adam Johnson will also come into contention, especially with Gareth Barry and Mario Balotelli both suspended.
Fact of the matter is, I’d fancy City’s second string – if you can really call it that – sweeping Arsenal’s feeble reserves to one side. In fact, I expect them to bulldozer their way into the semi-finals, as they did at Wolves in the previous round when a side containing Johnson, Nasri and Dzeko notched five in a 5-2 success.
Of course, there will be a few named on the Arsenal team sheet determined to stake a claim for some regular action in the first-team, and for this very reason I can foresee a few goals, but I very much expect Manchester City’s superiority to tell at the Emirates, which is never the most intimidating arenas at the best of times, let alone for a Carling Cup tie.
Recommended Bet: Manchester City to WIN @ 11/8 Ladbrokes
Side Bet: Both Teams to Score @ 8/13 Ladbrokes
September 20th, 2011 / Armchair Punter - Category:
English Football Betting
MANCHESTER CITY v BIRMINGHAM CITY
Football – England – Carling Cup
Wednesday 21st September 2011 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Despite the fact that both clubs were in the Premiership as recently as last season, there now exists a huge gulf between them this season with hosts Manchester City making a serious title challenge this time around, at the same time capturing the services of top world-class players such as Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Edin Dzeko, while defending Carling Cup holders Birmingham City scrabble around in the Championship and have lost some key players already.
Manchester City lie in second place to United just two points behind after squandering a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead at Fulham on the weekend. City led by a brace from Aguero, only to let Fulham back in and earn a surprising point at Craven Cottage.
City’s home league record stands at 2-0-0 7/0 with emphatic wins over Swansea City 4-0 and Wigan Athletic 3-0, and also remain unbeaten away from home too.
I’m unsure as to what team Mancini will put out for tonight’s match with the visit of Everton looking at the weekend, but the likes of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Adam Johnson and Samir Nasri could be in the frame for starts; given the numerous different egos within the squad it is almost an insult to be picked for such matches (Carling Cup) and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of mood Tevez and Balotelli will be in.
The previous two meetings between the two City’s have ended up 2-2 and 0-0, but their respective squad depths couldn’t be further apart nowadays.
Birmingham City have endured a rough couple of matches lately, losing 1-3 at home to Braga in the Europa League and then on the receiving end of a 1-4 spanking at St Mary’s on Sunday against Southampton. They will go into Wednesday night’s match playing three highly competitive matches in the space of seven days, and this will surely take it’s toll on fitness.
Away from home, Birmingham’s form has been dreadful – indeed their only win on the road in their last fifteen matches was a 1-0 win over Cork City in a friendly back in July! The last thing manager Chris Hughton will want prior to their home match against Barnsley on Saturday will be another thrashing, and the formation could well be shuffled back to the McLeish days of a lone striker up front and a five-man midfield to try and combat Manchester City’s quality in the middle of the park, with damage limitation being the name of the game.
Losing by more than 2 goals has happened just twice to Blues in their last fifteen matches (0-5 at Liverpool and 1-4 at Southampton), and together with the prospect of Birmingham having the majority of their team behind the ball at the Etihad Stadium, I’m throwing in a speculative punt of covering the 2-goal handicap…Manchester City to undoubtedly win but by 2-0 on the night.
Pick: Birmingham City AH-2 @ 1.98 bet365
September 17th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
Premier League Tips
It would be fair to say that Fulham urgently require a maximum haul, preferably sooner rather than later. A number of surprise outcomes on Saturday has left the Cottagers propping up the table heading into Sunday’s bout of fixtures, yet there’s every likelihood of their misery being compounded as they prepare to take on high-flying Manchester City to Craven Cottage.
As a result of Blackburn’s shock win at home to Arsenal and Swansea securing their first win of the season at the Liberty Stadium at the expense of West Brom, Fulham now occupy the basement of the Barclay’s Premier League. Martin Jol’s side are also one of only two teams who are yet to record a league win in 2011/12, although that unwanted honour could be all theirs should Sunderland comply at the Stadium of Light against Stoke the same afternoon.
Critical times then in the West of London. It’s an entirely different complexion up in Manchester, though, where both clubs have hit the ground running, City very much included. The Citizens still have their 100% record in tact after four straight wins – scoring 15 and conceding 3 in the process – and despite the disappointment of only mustering a draw on Tuesday as the club made their long-awaited UEFA Champions League bow against Napoli, the general consensus is that Roberto Mancini’s men will bounce back immediately to winning ways with their fourth Craven Cottage victory in six visits.
The Cottage, though, has been a formidable venue for Fulham, where they’ve lost only one of their last eleven league contests in 2011 – though it must be said that some of the aura has evaporated since the departure of Mark Hughes. A 1-1 draw with FC Twente in the Europa League on Thursday – a match in which Martin Jol fielded several first-team regulars – was Fulham’s third on the spin at home, extending their barren start to the season (excluding those formality Europa League qualifiers).
So Fulham have it all to do against those in-form Mancunians. Personally, I’m not holding out much hope of them halting the Man City express, not even at their spiritual home. Last season City romped to a 4-1 victory in this fixture, taking an unassailable 3-0 lead within 35 minutes, and it isn’t unrealistic to think that they could match, if not better that feat on Sunday against this beleaguered Fulham outfit.
Still, I don’t see too much value in backing the visitors. Although I do like the look of Micah Richards’ odds of netting only his seventh goal for the club. The England full-back gets forward to devastating effect time and time again for City, and already, after just four league appearances this season, has two assists to his name. Only the crossbar stood between him and his first Premiership goal for almost a year last time out against Wigan at home. Looks tremendous value at 16/1!
As for the hosts, they desperately need some invention from somewhere, from someone, and from what I saw at Craven Cottage last weekend, that won’t come from new signing Bryan Ruiz any time soon. One player who did catch the eye in that fixture was ironically Ruiz’s half-time substitute, Belgian forward Moussa Dembele. The 24-year-old made 24 appearances for Fulham last season, netting just three times, but he’s gradually adapted to the hard-knocks style of the Premier League and appears to be growing in confidence with every minute he is out on that pitch.
Dembele is an extremely confident individual who pleads for possession, because he has every confidence in himself that he can make something happen. My one criticism of the forward, other than he clearly doesn’t score regularly enough, is he doesn’t try his luck as often as a player with his ability should. But he definitely has some of the latter – ability – and Jol would be a fool to leave the Belgian inspiration on the bench, as he’s about the only potential match winner in his squad by the looks of things.
Betting Selections (Goalscorers)
Moussa Dembele to Score – 5/1 WilliamHill
Micah Richards to Score – 16/1 Ladbrokes
August 28th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
Premier League Tips
A lot has been made of Manchester City’s grand opening to the season, the Citizens playing some lovely, expansive football which has already bore plenty of fruit already in the form of seven goals in two games – a feat they didn’t manage until their sixth game last season – not to mention ownership of what is now just two flawless records left in the Premier League – their arch rivals United have the other.
Even Edin Dzeko is scoring, the Bosnian aiming to notch in his third consecutive game of the season on Sunday at White Hart Lane. It is 9/4 he maintain his hot streak (Coral), 7/1 with the same firm to break the deadlock.
Playing with more zest and attacking with more purpose, City look a real handful, and have been just that thus far. Only Chelsea have created more chances (off and on target), and they’ve played a game more.
However, I won’t buy into these theories of Mancini ditching his defensive principles during the summer. City, despite conceding twice last time out, are playing in an almost identical formation to last season, the one notable difference for me being their determination to get more players into the opposition box when on the front-foot.
They were, however, exposed and exploited last weekend away at Bolton for one obvious reason: a lack of a midfield enforcer. Nigel De Jong was absent with a foot injury and as a result the City defence was more vulnerable than usual; nor Barry, Toure or Milner are as effective as the Dutchman in breaking down opposing attacks.
Mancini is expected to be without the 26-year-old again on Sunday.
De Jong’s absence from the Man City team sheet should open the game up as a contest, especially as Luka Modric is set to start his first game of the season for Spurs. The Croatian has spent much of the last couple of weeks trying to engineer a move away from north London, with capital rivals Chelsea having had several impressive bids promptly rejected by the club.
The diminutive play-maker has been known to boss games single-handily; possessing the ability to drop into those small pockets of space, while few read the game better, and he could potentially throw a spanner in City’s works.
I’m sure Rafael Van der Vaart will also appreciate a De Jong free game, as the Dutchman can be lethal when given time on the ball to pick out a pass or line one up from distance – it isn’t as though he ever needs an invitation to have a speculative pop on goal; no Spurs player had more attempts on goal than Rafa against United.
Utilising the ample pace provided by wide-men Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon will also be a key factor in how Spurs fare in what is a massive game for them following their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday, as there’s every chance of Harry Redknapp’s side heading into the two-week international break still pointless, and possibly even rock-bottom.
Due to their high-velocity start to the new season, City are worthy favourites despite Spurs having home advantage at White Hart Lane, where, coincidentally, they were last beaten in the league a year to the day ago (28th August, 2010). But it isn’t as though Spurs don’t have the forward inventory to trouble a City defence which did look surprisingly suspect away at Bolton last time out.
Recent encounters haven’t lived up to all the hype, with just two goals in their last three league duels, but City have signalled their intent this season by playing with far more forward vigour, but Spurs will be no pushovers on their own patch, where they are unbeaten in the Premier League in 17.
I’m banking on City’s new found attacking confidence, Tottenham’s urgent need for points before the imminent fortnight time-out, and a distinct lack of a Dutch Karate Kid in the City midfield combining to produce a rare entertaining fixture between the two sides.
I also think the hosts are value to take something. They are, after all, unbeaten in eight at home to Man City in the Premier League, winning six of the last seven meetings in north London.
Over 2.5 Goals @ 4/5 WilliamHill
Both Teams to Score @ 4/6 888sport
August 15th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
Premier League Tips
From the luxury of their own homes, Manchester City watched all the weekend’s top-flight action unfold before their very eyes – and, on the whole, they’ll have no doubt been ecstatic with how it all panned out. The one sour note was seeing their fierce local rivals, Sir Alex’s Manchester United, perform one of their famous smash-and-grab wins away at West Brom.
With Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all dropping points on the opening weekend, Roberto Mancini will be all too aware that Monday’s game with newly-promoted Swansea is a glorious opportunity for his team to steal a march on the title protagonists. Plus, there’s even the incentive of leapfrogging their Manchester rivals in the process.
A two-goal margin of victory – 3/1 with PaddyPower – would ensure City end the opening weekend of the 2011-2012 Barclay’s Premier League above Manchester United, in second – though just five of their thirteen wins at home last season were by two clear goals (or better).
Swansea – a 12/1 shot with Bet365 – are the first visitors to the newly-named Etihad Stadium (for Sponsorship reasons), formerly known as the City of Manchester Stadium, and The Swans will etch their name into Premier League folklore in the process; as the first club to represent Wales in the league’s 21-year history.
And it’ll be a tough baptism of fire for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who played some beautiful football at times last season en route to promotion via the play-offs, but will quickly come to realise that they’ll need a lot more than just silky one-touch moves and the odd mesmerizing run from Scott Sinclair if they’re to finish 17th of better at the end of the term.
No goalkeeper kept more clean sheets in the Premier League last season than Joe Hart for Man City, who marshalled a defence that also boasted the tidiest defensive record (33 from 38 games). Meanwhile, in the same season, Swansea registered 13 goals fewer on their travels than at home (28 in total from their 23 away games), this against teams of Championship calibre.
Efficient and effective, but never emphatic! – that’s Manchester City’s slogan.
Betting Tip: Manchester City to Win to Nil – EVENS PaddyPower
May 9th, 2011 / Armchair Punter - Category:
Premier League Tips
MANCHESTER CITY v TOTTENHAM
Tuesday 10th May 2011 – Kickoff 7.45pm
Manchester City host a Tottenham side who are vying for their Champions League qualifying spot when the two sides clash at Eastlands on Tuesday night.
City’s first priority will be to not lose this match as they sit one place above Tottenham with six points in hand, and precenting Spurs from winning this fixture would severely reduce Spurs’ chances of catching them.
However, a win for Mancini’s boys would in turn put pressure on Arsenal above them and reduce the points deficit to just two with two games to play.
Mancini has built on his predecessor’s, Mark Hughes, work and brought in a little of that Italian tempo and solidity at home as their recent results seem to benefit from; City are now unbeaten in their last eight at home, seven of those have been straight wins with just one draw against Fulham 1-1.
Their home record stands at an impressive 11-4-2 30/12, with only Manchester United and ironically Tottenham having lost fewer on home soil. City’s defence has also tightened up a wee bit too with just 12 goals conceded, and keeping 10 clean sheets out of 17 so far at Eastlands.
Leading scorer Carlos Tevez (19 goals, 6 assists) is a major doubt for this match having not trained for quite a while and not even figuring on the bench at Everton at the weekend when they lost 1-2. Yes, they do still have David Silva, Adam Johnson and Mario Balotelli, but I feel City’s chances of scoring more than 2 goals in this one are severely limited with the expected absence of Tevez and the x-factor that he possesses.
Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham are in almost free-fall mode as recent results have hampered their European ambitions and they find themselves 6 points adrift of Manchester City in 4th place.
Spurs have now only won once in their last nine (including home and away) and will be searching desperately for all three points on Tuesday night to get their season back on track. 6 draws out of their last 9 hasn’t done them any favours and whilst they’ve lost just once (1-2 at Chelsea), Harry will see these results as points dropped rather than earnt.
As a consequence, their away record is so-so at 6-5-6 23/26, and they will be nervously looking over their shoulder at an advancing Liverpool who have been injected with fresh impetus following Dalglish’s appointment.
Gareth Bale is a serious doubt to travel to Manchester after being stretchered off against Blackpool at the weekend, and is almost certain to be sidelined with a serious ankle injury. They will certainly miss Bale and the attacking runs the wing-back can produce. First choice keeper Gomes is currently under a cloud at the moment following further keeping catastrophe’s against the Seasiders which ultimately cost Spurs a further two points as they drew 1-1 against Ian Holloway’s men.
The Verdict: Early prices are good for a Man City win but I’ve a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that Spurs may just deny them and grab a point. Instead, I’m expecting a tight match and therefore I’m backing a low-scoring match. City to just edge it 1-0 perhaps, but it could be worth putting a small stake on the 0-0 draw (priced 12.50 with Betfair
Main Pick: Under 2.5
@ 1.98 with Betfair
the best price I could find