Is it hard to build-up a game between Manchester City and Olympiakos? Well, it should be – if not for the idea that City’s ownership are losing patience with Pep Guardiola. Domestically he’s been sensational as we all know, but the real bugbear of falling short in Europe will consistently bother the decision-makers.
And let me tell you, if you look like you’re struggling against Olympiakos, at home, you may as well clear out your office at half-time. Now, of course, City being 1/6 would suggest they’ll be fine, but they’re not firing with their usual ease at all – and losing Aguero for a lengthy period of time will certainly detract from their usual oomph.
Does an otherwise throwaway fixture seem like it could be the thing that completely derails City’s big plan to dominate English football? Stranger things have happened. Olympiakos? Well, the big thing with them is their home form. They’ve not conceded a single goal at home this year, including their 1-0 win over Marseille.
Away from home? It’s less daring, so City shouldn’t struggle. But if they do… Anyway, here’s your three best bets for this dark horse of Tuesday night tussle.
While Guardiola has not got the nearest clue about his strongest starting XI, the positive impact of that is players trying really hard to impress. Now, that can be counter-productive in terms of grinding out results because you need consistency for these things, but the effort on show and the eagerness to be the difference is definitely not lacking in recent displays.
City took 16 shots against Sheffield United at the weekend, with half of them finding the target. They came from all over the park, too. Shoot on sight might be the order of the day at the club at the moment, and that’s hardly going to change and the Pep Guardiola bingo number machine is rolled out to select his team for this fixture.
Is he the best player in England under the age of 21? Possibly. Is he now worth £100m because of that? Unfortunately.
Something else that he is, though, is the only very likely starter for Man City this week, as he didn’t against Sheffield United at the weekend. Currently regarded as a rotational piece, Foden does actually benefit from the sparse usage, which results in us even asking the question.
You can back him confidently to net if he does start here, simply because there isn’t a more intelligent footballer in this entire squad at taking up advantageous positions against teams who defend deep.
Well, you might see this as bizarre, especially as City themselves are coming off the back of four clean sheets in their last seven games.
But Youssef Al-Arabi is a very tough man to stop from scoring. Having netted 25 times in his 39 appearances for Olympiakos to date, and with City’s back three/four going to look somewhat piecemeal, this could be a huge opportunity for them to land a punch.
*All prices correct at time of publishing but may change. Odds are bang up to date on our snazzy widgets, though
Man City v Olympiakos tips
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