About twenty years ago, being sandwiched between Leeds and Arsenal would have been an alright spot to be in. Then again, twenty years ago, Man City were celebrating the signing of Carlo Nash from Stockport County for £100,000 before being relegated from the Premiership, so who knows really.
In somewhat of a throwback though, City have gone and extended Pep Guardiola’s contract despite the fact he’s struggling at the moment. It feels like it’s more out of fear of him doing a job at Manchester United than actually losing him, but either way, they’re sticking with him.
Wednesday 5.55pm: Olympiakos v Man City
BT Sport 3
This game doesn’t possess the height of importance in the grand scheme of things – a win sees them qualify from a group where Porto were the biggest danger – but it does give Guardiola a couple of days to breathe as back-to-back losses would send alarm bells to Abu Dhabi. There’s every chance that he won’t be rotating either given how poor his unit were against Spurs at the weekend.
For all that Jose Mourinho is labelled outdated, it’s a lack of originality in Guardiola’s approach that is now catching upto him. A trip to Greece went from exactly that, to a conquest to make a statement. Here are your three best bets.
The first half display here, while admittedly against Olympiakos, will go a long way to telling you how the dressing room feel about Pep Guardiola. My gut instinct is that he’s far too respected and demands too much for anyone not to listen.
Not to be ageist, but he’s still on the right side of fifty, so you can’t write him off just yet, no matter how highly you think of yourself as a player. On a normal night where intensity isn’t at the forefront of your mind, you’d expect City to go to Athens and knock in one before half-time, so to find ourselves in this situation is merely a bonus.
Half-Time/Full-Time: Man City/Man City is a tasty little price and I can happily recommend it as a single or as part of multi if you’re that way inclined.
Sergio Aguero will probably lead the line for City here given he didn’t feature whatsoever against Spurs and with the extra rest in his legs, he could run amok with a brace or more. The days of Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus leading the line for City might be behind them if Sergio can look anywhere near his best again, and that should be enough inspire improved form in the league too.
Man City to Have Eight or More Shots on Target seems like a lot, but when you’d probably back them to score at least three, it isn’t really, is it? Basically, we’re in a situation where they’ve gone to Spurs and had 22 shots.
Spurs play a ridiculously compact backline and sights on goal were limited. You take that same intensity on the road with you in Europe and those opportunities do begin to open up somewhat.
Tips for Olympiakos v Man City
*All odds in copy correct at time of publication and they’re always bang on with our clever betting banners.
Top tips for Thursday
- Rapid Vienna to outclass Dundalk – but expect goals at both ends
- Call on Kane in these two bets for Tottenham v Ludogorets
- Celtic and Rangers combine for our 6/1 Europa League double
- Double delight for Arsenal and Leicester in this 12/1 Europa League bet
- Paddy Power’s Millionaire Chase: All you need to know about the MILLION quid New Year’s Day giveaway
- Paddy Power’s Millionaire Chase: What you can get for a million quid
- Mark Clattenburg reveals the biggest diver in football
- Mark Clattenburg: Jose held grudge against me after ‘getting him the sack’