Manchester City v Celtic Preview: Hoops have the weapons to hurt Guardiola’s men
Manchester City capitulated against Chelsea in what could prove to be a pivotal match in the Premier League title race on Saturday at the Etihad. Being caught on the counter-attack so many times is one thing, but the suspensions that have come about because of the ill-disciplined end to the clash could have repercussions far beyond the three points. Now Pep Guardiola must turn his attention to ensuring his side finish their Champions League group campaign on a high note.
Guardiola’s former club Barcelona are assured of top spot despite losing in Manchester on match day four as they hold a four-point advantage over the Premier League outfit. With Borussia Monchengladbach three points behind City, there is nothing left to play for. All four positions are already assured which means the English club will finish second while Celtic, their opposition in this game, will be out of Europe for another season.
While that may not suggest a particularly interesting game, Chelsea’s stunning performance should mean Guardiola is keen to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, regardless of the competition. That outcome is just 4/11 (1.36) with Betway, albeit that price is drifting after the weekend’s result and not many punters will be keen to get stuck in at such skinny odds.
Celtic are on offer at 15/2 (8.50) to pick up their first win of the group stage with the draw priced at 17/4 (5.25). In truth though, it seems unlikely that the Hoops will take even a share of the spoils from this game. Without the daunting surroundings of their Parkhead home, Brendan Rodgers’ side have been pretty poor on the road.
They were beaten 7-0 in Barcelona and while that level of scoreline is unlikely here, another game filled with goals could help punters identify a better way to get with City at a much more appealing price. Defensive lapses are still a huge issue for the hosts and the fact that Betway offer just 4/6 (1.67) that both teams find the net tells its own story.
A 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach on the opening match day was the only clean sheet City have kept in this competition and it’s now just one shut out in 15 matches in all competitions for the pre-season Premier League title favourites.
Going forward, City have an abundance of fire power and they can blow any team in the world away on their day, as they proved in their previous clash with the Catalan giants. With Sergio Aguero now suspended domestically, the Argentine may well take his frustrations out on a visiting team who leaked three times on their trip to Motherwell on Saturday. Over 3.5 goals could be a solid pick at 21/20 (2.05) but it could be worth chancing slightly higher odds given that the fact that Guardiola will expect his men to prove a point.
While the hosts should have too much for the Scottish champions, they look unlikely to keep them out given some of the displays at the back in recent weeks. 6/4 (2.50) is available with Betway on a home win where both teams score and that looks worthy of backing.